28/09/2016
Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Possible Iron Age broch discovered in Shetland

f0d39c56-25af-45c0-90f5-c790bdb0129c

A researcher from the University of Aberdeen has discovered the remains of what could be an Iron Age broch, at Holms of Hogaland in Shetland. For all the latest archaeology dig reports, finds analysis and news, read History Scotland magazine.

Archaeologist Michael Stratigos was carrying out research at the Holms of Hogaland islets at Loch of Strom earlier this month, when he discovered a previously unrecorded drystone roundhouse. Michael and volunteer Sally Evans investigated the site, after a tip off from Claire Christie at Shetland Amenity Trust.

The majority of the islet under investigation was covered in a large mound around 3m high and 16x14m across. There were obvious structural features, including coursed stonework and potentially the remains of orthostats or piers (ie. internal divisions within the former structure).

In the middle of the island is a small circular depression (pictured left) about 4m across that presumably represents internal space within this large structure. On the west side of the island, and most exposed to the weather, there appears to be some active erosion, although the rate and extent of this is difficult to know as there is no baseline of information with which to compare.

Bedrock can be seen at the edges of the island, so it is clear that this islet is not completely artificial, however, it seems likely that a significant portion of the current islet underwater is composed of material transported to the site. While not a crannog in the classic sense, it may well prove that sites like this newly discovered site are assuming similar roles as crannogs in Iron Age Scotland.

Michael said of the finds: ‘When considering crannogs and islet settlement, Shetland presents a wide array of different types ranging from completely artificial occupied islands to natural islands with monumental roundhouses placed on top.

‘For this reason, it represents a foil to studies of mainland crannogs (such as the main focus of my PhD research), and hopefully will help break down our archaeological terminology and definitions and peer into an understanding of what monumental domestic architecture meant to the people of Iron Age Scotland.’

For more on Michael’s broch research, visit his blog.

  

Back to "Nostalgia" Category

28/09/2016 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

The Burrell Collection was opened - On this day in Scottish history

The Burrell Collection was opened on 21 October 1983.


Colin Campbell 1st Baron of Clyde was born - On this day in Scottish history

Colin Campbell, 1st Baron Clyde was born on 20 October 1792.


500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation marked by National Library of Scotland display

A rare copy of one of the most important documents in European history is on show at the National Library of ...


The first public sedan chairs in Scotland became available - On this day in Scottish history

Scotland's first public hire sedan chairs became available on 19 October 1687.


Other Articles

Queen consort Margaret Tudor died on 18 October 1541

Queen consort Margaret Tudor died on 18 October 1541.


The Skye Bridge opened - on this day in Scottish history

The Skye Bridge opened on 17 October 1995.


Like father like son: Arthur Jefferson, the father of comedian Stan Laurel

Author Danny Lawrence tells the story of theatre actor and playwright Arthur Jefferson, whose many talents ...


John Knox House - yes and no

What connections did John Knox have with the house on Edinburgh's Royal Mile which bears his name? Donald ...