HIDDEN beneath the turf of a windswept part of Shetland's coast lies the impressive remains of one of the longest inhabited spots in Britain. No-one knows what the earliest name of this settlement was, but from the rubbish they left we can tell a lot about the people who lived there over the years.
The people of Jarlshof threw garbage into dumps from before 2500 BC but, although their waste was unwanted, their refuse has been anything but rubbish for archaeologists investigating their lives. We know that the Stone Age settlers lived in small circular stone houses, that they tilled crops, kept cattle and sheep, and harvested the sea for fish and whales, seals and shellfish. They also made tools - some finely decorated - from stone, pottery and bone.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Shetland's past comes to life amid the ruins