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October 26, by Joanne Milne, University of Aberdeen The Picts have long been regarded as a mysterious people, leaving behind little evidence of their presence other than their iconic carved stones. Now research led by the University of Aberdeen is shedding new light on the origin and development of their yet un-deciphered system of symbols, which has divided historical opinion for more than a century. Archaeologists from the University have teamed up with National Museums Scotland and dating experts from the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre SUERC to provide a more accurate dating scheme which suggests that the system of carved symbols can be traced to as far back as the third-fourth century AD — much earlier than previously assumed. Researchers radiocarbon dated objects carved with symbols and specially selected samples from modern excavations to provide an outline chronology for the Pictish symbol system based on scientific rather than art-historical dating techniques. Their findings, published in the leading archaeology journal Antiquity, support the idea that the symbols represent a script likely to be a naming system communicating the identities of Picts and that this was developed in the same era as other writing systems across Europe like the ogham script of early Ireland and the runic system developed in Scandinavia. While others had suggested early origins for this system no direct scientific dating was available to support this. Our dating reveals that the symbol system is likely to date from the third-fourth century AD and from an earlier period than many scholars had assumed. The dating evidence drew on excavation work at a promontory fort at Dunnicaer seastack, located south of Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, where unelaborated carvings, generally of a smaller size and less standardised when compared with the later standing stone monuments, had been recovered in the 19th century. The new excavations revealed that the stones probably came from the rampart of the fort and the dating of the site conclusively showed that the settlement was at its height in the third to fourth centuries AD.

Island Hopping in the Scottish Western Isles

Depending on which guided vacation you choose, you might tour Belvoir Castle in Cambridge, behold the Changing of the Guard at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, view Shakespeare’s birthplace at Stratford-upon-Avon, or marvel at the prehistoric Stonehenge. Irish charm is world-reknown and the countryside is an absolutelt breathtaking.

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Uninhabited islands[ edit ] View of the Barra Isles from Heaval. The village of Castlebay is in the foreground, with Vatersay , and the uninhabited islands of Sandray , Pabbay , Mingulay and Berneray beyond. More than 35 such islands have been identified in the Outer Hebrides alone. In the 18th century the population was over fifty, but the last native islanders had left by The island became completely uninhabited by with the automation of the lighthouse. The ” Mingulay Boat Song “, although evocative of island life, was written after the abandonment of the island in [46] and Taransay hosted the BBC television series Castaway Others have played a part in Scottish history.

Some are not geologically part of the Outer Hebrides, but are administratively and in most cases culturally, part of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. While Rona used to support a small population who grew grain and raised cattle, Sula Sgeir is an inhospitable rock. Thousands of northern gannets nest here, and by special arrangement some of their young, known as gugas are harvested annually by the men of Ness.

These are amongst the oldest rocks in Europe, having been formed in the Precambrian period up to three billion years ago. In addition to the Outer Hebrides, they form basement deposits on the Scottish mainland west of the Moine Thrust and on the islands of Coll and Tiree. The granite here is anorthosite , and is similar in composition to rocks found in the mountains of the Moon. There are relatively small outcrops of Triassic sandstone at Broad Bay near Stornoway.

History of the Outer Hebrides

Sources in focus — Newspaper reports of extreme weather in the Western Isles in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries part 2. It draws on an index of three newspapers: Also, included are some photographs which came to the attention of researchers on a recent trip to Stornoway. Photograph of a hard bound copy of the Stornoway Gazette, 23 December held at Stornoway Library.

Storms, gales and hurricanes disrupted fishing and frequently resulted in the tragic loss of life as fisherman braved the heavy seas of the North Atlantic.

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Kingdom of the Isles Viking raids began on Scottish shores towards the end of the 8th century and the Hebrides came under Norse control and settlement during the ensuing decades, especially following the success of Harald Fairhair at the Battle of Hafrsfjord in These princelings nominally owed allegiance to the Norwegian crown, although in practice the latter’s control was fairly limited. By capturing the islands Magnus imposed a more direct royal control, although at a price. His skald Bjorn Cripplehand recorded that in Lewis “fire played high in the heaven” as “flame spouted from the houses” and that in the Uists “the king dyed his sword red in blood”.

This situation lasted until the partitioning of the Western Isles in , at which time the Outer Hebrides remained under Norwegian control while the Inner Hebrides broke out under Somerled , the Norse-Gael kinsman of the Manx royal house. The best known find is the Lewis chessmen , which date from the mid 12th century. A rebellion by his nephew, Alexander of Lochalsh provoked an exasperated James IV to forfeit the family’s lands in

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Apart from the points of law involved, case reports often reveal interesting historical detail. Thus, I’ve written before about the legal sequels to the wreck of the brigantine Aid of Dundee off the coast of Harris in here ; the sinking of the Islay mail steamer Lochiel in here ; and a dispute between rival ferry operators across Kyle Akin here. So here’s another episode from the legal archives, this time concerning McCaig’s Tower, the great rotunda which crowns Oban’s skyline.

You can read about its construction in this article on Undiscovered Scotland.

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Oldham Mayor of Wolverhampton, councillor Ian Brookfield, said the findings were contradictory. Wolverhampton, pictured, is the second saddest in the country, according to the ‘happiness’ study ‘Wolverhampton and Black Country folk are, by nature, hard-working and self-deprecating – that’s why in this area we are famous for our sense of humour – and this research shows that while we may sometimes be a little bit grumpy, we don’t worry and get on with life.

But happiness levels soon improve when you move into retirement age with those aged tended to be the happiest age group. Teenagers reported similar levels of happiness and life satisfaction as pensioners. The study suggested this was because both groups have ‘more time to spend on activities which promote their well-being’. Those aged over 90 were the least likely to describe what they do in life as ‘worthwhile’ Average anxiety ratings increased through early and middle years, peaking between 45 to 59 years, but then subsequently falling and remaining relatively unchanged for those aged 65 and over People aged 40 to 59 were also considerably more anxious than other groups, with those aged 50 to 54 the most anxious group, while those over 90 were the least anxious.

ONS director of measuring national wellbeing Glenn Everett said the data showed that, overall, wellbeing falls after people reach the age of The study also said the fall in ratings of personal wellbeing amongst the very oldest age groups ‘might result from a range of personal circumstances such as poor health, living alone and feelings of loneliness’.

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The islands have been landmarks for travellers through the Hebrides for at least years. The names of some of the islands still reflect their importance to the Vikings who once ruled in the Hebrides. The islands, and Cairnburgh Castle in particular, had a strong strategic position well into the s. The Treshnish Isles are formed from 8 principal islands varying in size from less than 4 hectares to 60 hectares. The archipelago lies, at its closest, 3 km west of Mull and extends along a northeast-southwest axis for a distance of 11 km.

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South Uist Looking west to Nicolson’s Leap. Organisation within Iron Age roundhouses appears to have been very different from 19th century blackhouses in which the dwelling was shared with stock. Stock sharing living space with people is often regarded as a traditional Hebridean arrangement reflecting Norse influence.

The archaeological site of Cladh Hallan on South Uist is the only site in the British Isles where prehistoric mummies have been found. St Kilda, Scotland St Kilda was continuously inhabited for two millennia or more, from the Bronze Age to the 20th century. The islands were historically part of the domain of the MacLeods of Harris whose steward was responsible for the collection of rents in kind and other duties.

Western Isles: Wikis

In practice, this has meant that I was given all manner of tasks, from manual fogging to lighting to interim evaluation, and, believe it or not, I was even allowed to operate a camera a few times. As I foutered about on the sidelines, I noticed that everyone involved in the Hebridean Sessions was excited by its potential. A recurring conversation throughout the week centred on how to fully understand the value of a project like this, not just to the artists directly involved, but also to the music scene and even to the broader community.

Of course there are concrete outputs, such as the final performance and the music videos, and participating artists should be able to track the number of views, likes and shares their material receives on social media and what kind of invitations to perform they receive as a result. But the ripples that flow outwards from something like this are far more difficult to trace.

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Share this article Share ‘Some of the foods have been on the up for a while like avocado oil and maca root, but others like mushrooms and black pudding have been a total surprise to us. Charles Macleod Butchers in Scotland’s Western Isles has seen the postal demand for its iconic delicacy increase eight fold in the last few days. The business is putting the New Year surge down to claims from food experts that the traditional blood sausage will be a fad superfood this year.

Shona Macleod, managing director of the butcher shop in Stornoway, Scotland, said: I opened the mail orders and we had about 40 black pudding mail orders to go out today. That’s is a lot for the first day open in January. Loaded with protein, potassium, calcium and magnesium, as well as being practically carb free, it is expected to fly off the shelves It was suggested at one point that insects like locusts could be one of the next big superfoods ‘On the first day that you come back in the New Year there is usually maybe about five or six postal orders — everybody gets their orders in December so they can have them at Christmas.

This is just going to be for black puddings alone. We will be able to do a lot more. In Stornoway Black Pudding was given the same protected status in Europe as champagne. The decision followed a campaign by four island butchers, and means black pudding can only be described as from Stornoway if it is made in the town. Lorna MacLennan, another director at the butcher shop, said:


Previously the majority of research indicated that artificial islets sometimes known as Crannogs in the lochs of Scotland were a feature of the late Bronze c. A single site in North Uist l excavated by the archaeologist Ian Armit during the late s established that islet sites may have been made during the Neolithic, but it was so peculiar as to be seen as an anomaly rather than an established form of Neolithic practice. Through combining underwater, aerial and ground based survey this project has confirmed that three further islets on the Isle of Lewis were made during the Neolithic.

You can get a sense of what it was like to work on site from the timelapse below. This is a particularly exciting discovery due to size, location and effort involved in construction of these sites, along with the great potential they have for offering new insights into a critical period of our shared history. Why did the Neolithic population of the Western Isles feel the need to build these sites, which involved moving hundreds of tons of rock out into the water?

The Outer Hebrides (/ ˈ h ɛ b r ɪ d iː z /), also known as the Western Isles (Scottish Gaelic: Na h-Eileanan Siar [nə ˈhelanən ˈʃiəɾ] or Na h-Eileanan an Iar [nəˈhelanən əˈɲiəɾ]), Innse Gall (“islands of the strangers”) or the Long Isle or the Long Island (Scottish Gaelic: An t-Eilean Fada), is an island chain off the west coast of mainland Scotland.

The – Western Isles – Outer Hebrides The Western isles are a beautiful set of islands and a haven for wildlife, wildflowers, lovely golden sandy beaches and last but not least – peace and tranquility. The Western Isles The Western Isles, also known as the ‘ Outer hebrides’ are a chain of islands some 30 miles off the north-west coast of Scotland. The northern part of the Western Isles – known as Lewis, which is not an isle on its own, but is joined to Harris in the south.

Between the two, is a range of mountains. The Isle of Lewis is the larges and most northern island of the Outer Hebrides. The northern part of the island is largely flat, with much peat land, but has some gorgeous beaches on its coastline edges. The south part of the island has dramatic scenery, with remote hills around Uig and the Pairc peninsula. The beautiful hills of the Isle of Lewis are rugged and spectacular.

The main town on Lewis, Stornoway is a significant port and about a third of the population – some people live in and around the town. Winters are rarely cold and snow is almost non existent. Climatically the dominant features are wind and rain, December being the wettest month of the year. In contrast to the winters, when the days are quite short, in the summer the actual daylight hours are extremely long with lots of daylight with barely two hours of darkness midsummer due to the northerly latitude of the Islands.

Travel The Western Isles are accessed from mainland Scotland by ferries and airplanes.

Outer Hebrides

Post-processing of the sidescan sonar data will allow plans of the areas of exposed peat to be input into the GIS database. The sidescan images will also be mosaiced to form a continuous image of the seabed surface. Palaeoenvironmental Sampling In the first year of field work the mapping and sampling of inter-tidal peats will be carried out during the lowest tides and will use existing data as a starting point to confirm areas of peat and to establish their hieght above ordanance datum.

An initial assessment of the quality and quantity of material available at the potential inter-tidal sampling locations will be made.

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In our opinion all local guides were great. Extra special commendations go to Niki Olympia and Kristina Delphi for their knowledge, enthusiasm and humor. The guide at Delos was excellent for taking us in the opposite direction as the other groups we had extra “quiet” time at the site. Trifonos was a great driver. Holy cow the food was great. I already miss the tomatoes Serra, our tour leader, looked out for us and was adeptly able to accommodate our quirks and personalities.

She made sure the picky vegetarian in our group me had enough to eat.

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Western architecture, history of Western architecture from prehistoric Mediterranean cultures to the present. Glen Bowman, Newcastle, England The history of Western architecture is marked by a series of new solutions to structural problems. During the period from the beginning of civilization through ancient Greek culture , construction methods progressed from the most primitive shed roof and simple truss to the vertical posts, or columns , supporting horizontal beams, or lintels see post-and-lintel system.

Greek architecture also formalized many structural and decorative elements into three Classical orders —Ionic, Doric, and Corinthian—which, to a greater or lesser extent, have influenced architecture since that time. The Romans exploited the arch , vault , and dome and made broader use of the load-bearing masonry wall.

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Naturally occurring, ambient seismic waves form an ever-present source of energy that is conventionally regarded as unusable since it is not impulsive. As such it is generally removed from seismic data and subsequent analysis. A new method known as seismic interferometry can be used to extract useful information about the Earth’s subsurface from the ambient noise wavefield. Consequently, seismic interferometry is an important new tool for exploring areas which are otherwise seismically quiescent, such as the British Isles in which there are relatively few strong earthquakes.

One of the possible applications of seismic interferometry is ambient noise tomography ANT. ANT is a way of using interferometry to image subsurface seismic velocity variations using seismic surface waves extracted from the background ambient vibrations of the Earth.

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