A broch blog

Some great information on early history of Northern Scotland, Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles.

SCHARP Blog

Brochs are amongst the most spectacular of eroding coastal archaeology, and in the course of SCHARP, we have seen and recorded quite a few of them. Many thousands of these towers of the Iron Age would once have been an impressive sight along the coasts of  Northern Scotland, Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles.

The broch of Mousa viewed from the sea. Photo Richard Pattison The broch of Mousa viewed from the sea. Photo Richard Pattison

They were generally built around 200BC (although some are earlier) in coastal locations (although not always), and were occupied for a very long time – in some cases for up to 1000 years.

Cutaway showing what a broch may have looked like, based on a drawing by Alan Braby. Cutaway showing what a broch may have looked like, based on a drawing by Alan Braby.

The defining feature of a broch is a massive encircling double wall. This photo looking down into the broch of Mousa in Shetland, taken by Kieran Baxter, shows the classic double walled broch construction.

Looking down into the broch of Mousa showing the double wall, which is the defining feature of a broch. This image created using kite photography by Kieran Baxter. Go to www.topofly.com for more of Kieran's brilliant work. Looking down…

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One thought on “A broch blog

  1. perhaps, the broch has a religious purpose. There were three levels of the afterlife in Viking religion. There are three levels in the broch. https://www.vikingslots.com/blog/valhalla The old a sick go to Hel, there’s a middle land for most people, and then Valhalla for the best warriors. Interesting, there doesn’t seem to be a place for babies or small children in the Viking afterlife. Perhaps, this is why the real Rollo converted to Christianity and why he lived to extreme old age (a disgrace for a Viking) In Christianity, children are assured a place where he could see them again. For that, someone might be willing to suffer the disgrace of old age. Look these same towers in Sardinia. http://www.philipcoppens.com/nuraghe.html

    By the time the real Rollo was given the treaty of St. Clair. He’s old and alone. He had children with his much younger wife when he was in his 40’s, old enough to be a grandfather. Perhaps, his other family died.

    Liked by 1 person

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