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Old Scatness Broch and Iron Age Village

Just off the coast of Orkney lies the historical islands of Shetland, made up of one large island, referred to as the mainland, and many smaller islands. There are numerous sites and attractions on Shetland that carve a fascinating picture of its heritage and allow visitors to enjoy an exciting insight into the islands of Scotland. One of the most breathtaking attractions is the Old Scatness Broch and Iron Age Village, where time seems to have stood still to preserve this site in immaculate condition.

Scientist have discovered that the Old Scatness Broch and Iron Age Village was inhabited for approximately two thousand five hundred years until it was buried by the ages to be rediscovered in the year 1975. As sites go, this archaeological site was found by accident and excavation work on the Old Scatness Broch and Iron Village only began in 1995. As work to the site began to uncover prehistoric materials and midden deposits dating back to the seventeenth century, scientists realized that they had made a major discovery. Excavations uncovered a Pictish building that was constructed from massive stone piers, and takes the form of a spoked wheel. Construction during that time period focused on functionality and appearance, as buildings were seen as a status symbol. The site also revealed a wealth of information in regard to the people who occupied the area, such as soapstone artifacts that confirm the presence of the Vikings. Coins, evidence of crafting and other items of value were found at the site, and the croft house near the site was restored as an Old Scatness Visitor Centre.

During the summer months, visitors are able to explore the site and enjoy guided tours through the Pictish and Iron Age replicas that were constructed. Visitors are also able to dress up as either a Viking or Pict and take on the daily lives of these ancient Scottish ancestors. Local crafts people still practice the same skills in creating works of art, and souvenirs can either be purchased from them or at the site gift shop. Exploring the Old Scatness Broch and Iron Age Village is as much an adventure into the past as it is educational and breathtaking.


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