THE EARLIEST known case of rickets in the UK has been identified in a 3,000-year- old skeleton from Tiree.
The disease, which is caused by a Vitamin D deficiency linked to lack of sunlight, can lead to weak and deformed bones.
It was identified in the remains of a woman from the Neolithic age who had been buried on the island and discovered during an excavation in 1912.
Until now, the earliest case of rickets in Britain dated from the Roman period, until researchers from Bradford and Durham universities made the discovery using radiocarbon dating.
The skeleton was taken off the island and is now part of the Hunterian collection at Glasgow University.
The skeleton was always assumed to date from the same period as a nearby Iron Age settlement, but the dating technique showed it was actually from between 3340 and 3090 BC.
The examination also identified rickets in the woman’s badly- deformed bones.
THE TIREE community council website is up and running. It can be found at www.tireecommunitycouncil.co.uk. The latest news on the site is that vice convenor, John MacCaskill, has been invited to join the Transport Minister’s Ferry Procurement Reference Panel.
This is a newly- established group looking at the way in which the government secures ferry services, and that these services are procured in a cost- effective and fair manner.