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Prehistoric home found in Scotland

A 4-5,000-year-old house has been found on the Shetland Islands at the future site of a gas plant.

The main building is probably 4-5,000 years old, has walls which include stone boulders and is between seven and eight metres wide. There is a hearth in the centre of it. Although the site has been badly eroded by hillwash, there are traces of a possible floor surface and this has a lot of worked quartz and charcoal flecking in it. In addition, this week the team has discovered some large pieces of pottery. Quartz specialist Torben Ballin has had a preliminary look at some of the quartz and it is possible that some of it will help to date the site.

A few yards to the north, the team discovered a beautifully constructed, stone-lined, oval pit. Initially it looked like the base of a corn-drying kiln, although as the earliest known of is that at Old Scatness, which is around 2,000 years old, there was slight concern about this interpretation. Now that Linda Somerville has finished excavating the feature, she has discovered that there is a neatly paved floor to it, and it looks less like a corn-dryer. Linda has taken a lot of samples which will be analysed in the laboratory and might give more idea as to what this well constructed chamber was for.

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2 thoughts on “Prehistoric home found in Scotland

  1. Thanks for this interesting article. Please clarify something for me. How could there be a 2,000 year old corn-drying kiln in the UK when corn origionated in the Americas and didnt come to the UK until at least 1520 or so?

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