The discovery of the village “On the far curving shore of the bay lies Skara Brae, hazy through the sea-haar. In the winter of , a great storm battered Orkney. There was nothing particularly unusual about that, but, on this occasion, the combination of wind and extremely high tides stripped the grass from a large mound, then known as “Skerrabra”. This revealed the outline of a number of stone buildings – something that intrigued the local laird, William Watt, of Skaill, who embarked on an excavation of the site. In , after the remains of four ancient houses had been unearthed, work at Skerrabra was abandoned. The settlement remained undisturbed until , when another storm damaged some of the previously excavated structures. A sea-wall was built to preserve these remains, but during the construction work, yet more ancient buildings were discovered.
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The old Shetland name for the Grey Seal is ‘haaf fish’ deep sea fish , because it prefers more open sea conditions, while the Common Seal is known as ‘tang fish’ seaweed fish because of its preference for more sheltered shores and islands. Contrary to expectations, there are fewer Common Seals than Grey Seals in Britain as a whole, with around 28, Common and , Grey.
It is possible to age seals quite accurately by counting the growth rings round the roots of the back teeth. Most of the information about how long seals live comes from seals that have been kept in zoos. The oldest recorded seal in the world came from Shetland, a grizzled old female who lived to the ripe age of 46 years! Seals have been around Shetland for many years with bones found at the Jarlshof settlement dating back to the Iron Age. There is also a lot of folklore surrounding ‘selkies’ coming ashore having cast off their skins and been transformed into beautiful people, and many an islander would fall in love with a ‘selkie’ and go back to the sea with them, traditionally this only happened at midsummer.
In years gone by Shetlanders have hunted seals for their blubber, used for oil, their skins which were used to make clothes, and occasionally the flesh would be eaten. Most recently seals have been hunted for their valuable pelts. Most valuable is the skin of a pup, particularly of the Common Seal, or the adult just after moulting, providing it had not been scared.
The Common Seal was hunted the most partly due to the fact that the pups were found on easily accessible shorelines and also because until you did not need a permit to hunt Common Seal whereas you did for Grey Seals. Seal hunting was particularly common after the Second World War as times were hard and the demand for sealskins kept the prices high. Between and the recorded number of Common Seals dropped from to at Fitful Head and, although the figures from elsewhere are not so accurate, the same decline was seen throughout the islands.
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Navigation Shetland attractions Shetland is home to a surprising large number of things to do and places to go. When you’re here, just tell us what your interests are and we’ll point you in the right direction. In the meantime, here is a list of the most popular:
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These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionProfessor Vince Gaffney, an expert in landscape archaeology, explains what the pits appear to show Archaeologists believe they have discovered the world’s oldest lunar “calendar” in an Aberdeenshire field. Excavations of a field at Crathes Castle found a series of 12 pits which appear to mimic the phases of the moon and track lunar months.
A team led by the University of Birmingham suggests the ancient monument was created by hunter-gatherers about 10, years ago. The pit alignment, at Warren Field, was first excavated in The experts who analysed the pits said they may have contained a wooden post. The Mesolithic “calendar” is thousands of years older than previous known formal time-measuring monuments created in Mesopotamia. It is remarkable to think that our aerial survey may have helped to find the place where time itself was invented Dave Cowley, RCAHMS The analysis has been published in the journal, Internet Archaeology.
The pit alignment also aligns on the Midwinter sunrise to provided the hunter-gatherers with an annual “astronomic correction” in order to better follow the passage of time and changing seasons. Dr Richard Bates, of the University of St Andrews, said the discovery provided “exciting new evidence” of the early Mesolithic Scotland.
Hamna Voe Old Norse: Housa Voe to the east Old Norse: Brei Holm and Maiden Stack guard the harbour entrance to the south. The former is a tidal island and was a leper colony until the 18th century although it has been suggested that many of the “lepers” there were suffering from a vitamin deficiency rather than leprosy.
Methil is situated in Fife, Scotland, and like the other towns in Levenmouth is situated near the river mouth of Leven the town dates back to the 12th century, the town became a barony in , but then did not see much growth until the 19th and 20th century.
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The three school buildings, Primary, Secondary and Nursery departments, are within 2 minutes walking distance of each other. The islands lie miles km north of the Scottish mainland, at the northern extremity of the United Kingdom. They constitute the Shetland Islands council area and the historic county of Shetland. Among the settlements on Mainland, the largest island, is Scalloway, a fishing port.
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This site includes a cluster of six or seven walled fields and three stone circular houses that contains the earliest hoe -blades found so far in Scotland. Around it are the remains of houses, walls and cairns of the same period. There are numerous Neolithic era standing stones including those at Yoxie on Whalsay and at Boardastubble, Unst. Hjaltadans on Fetlar is a ring of stones, although there are no true stone circles as such in Shetland. The level of organisation involved suggest a relatively high population for Shetland in the Neolithic, perhaps as much as 10,
Traveling Stitches: Origins of Fair Isle Knitting Deborah Pulliam [email protected] Fair Isle and Shetland are both part of an archipelago that begins with Orkney, another dating to the s. Both caps in the Shetland Museum; one for a man and one for a.
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These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Image caption Shetland often appears in maps floating in a box off the Aberdeenshire coast MSPs have effectively banned public bodies from putting Shetland in a box in maps in official documents. What is going on? Shetland is more than miles away from the Scottish mainland, as the crow flies. It takes 12 hours to get there from the mainland on a ferry.
It is, by any measure, quite far away. But looking at a lot of maps, that might not be immediately clear.
Here, we present work on the site of Sandwick South, a Norse settlement, in which these challenges were present. Field gamma dose rates below 0. The bedrock geology of the area are metagabbros, which explain both the exceptionally low dose rates and the lack of autochthonous quartz.
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New figures reveal that one in six islanders is currently either divorced or separated. And with the ninth lowest rate for married people, by council, there are a lot of broken hearts on the northern isles. Yet the islands have long been regarded as among the best places to live in the UK, scoring highly when it comes to health, life expectancy and employment.
The figures are revealed in a new Scottish Government study , the largest of its kind. And the survey reveals that the 18, adult population also has one of the lowest levels of single people who have never married. We have a large number of people who come up here and go — migrant workers — for projects such as Sullom Voe in the past and on temporary contracts. Shetland has more than twice the national average of separated people at 5. Next is South Lanarkshire at 4. West Dunbartonshire and Aberdeenshire are next with 9.
This may include people cohabiting. In Dundee, it was Published last month, the divorce figures are part of a survey launched in A Bank of Scotland quality of life study revealed that Shetlanders earned above the Scottish average, had better education qualifications than most and had one of the lowest crime rates in the country.