|After my wonderful visit to the Orkneys last week I visited the Shetlands and Jarlshof. It is similar though much bigger than Skara Brae and visitors are able to wander around freely. Also by the sea, the neolithic bit is now thought to be 7000 years old. Our guide, who was local, produced some oyster shells which had been found in the sandbanks along the shoreline – he told us oysters are not found in those waters so must they have been brought there by the neolthic settlers; these shells had been examined by photo luminescence which dates the last time daylight fell on minerals and were found to be 7000 years old.
Jarlshof reflects a settlement dating back to the Neolithic. In the earliest part of the village a Bronze-Age smithy can be seen.
There was a large Iron-Age roundhouse in the courtyard of the broch which was built about 2000 years ago.
Other additions to the village include a wheelhouse which was occupied until the Norsemen arrived plus the remains of stone buildings right up to the 17th century with the ruins of the laird's house.
It is a wonderful and remote place not far from the stunning Sumborgh Head where I saw puffins close up for the first time in my life.
(I did take lots of photos but had difficulty posting them, will have another try when I get time)
Posted by tjj
4th July 2009ce
Edited 4th July 2009ce