Featured image: The Shetlands on Carta Marina by Olaus Magnus (Wikipedia | Public Domain).
Just when you think you are clearing your garden to build a shed, you find a piece of pottery, and then some, and then some… This happens to a citizen in Scalloway during the Covid-19 lockdown in the Shetlands last year.
With a little help from crowdfunding, the landowner raised enough money to invite archaeologists from the Orkneys (see Shetland.org blog and the Shetland Times). The archaeologists did not waste any time and dug ten trenches in total. They found round houses and medieval burials. And they struck gold in the tenth trench. This undisturbed piece of earth shows a promising structure. Whilst it needs to be uncovered in full, the seeds found in the ground are carbon-dated from c. 750-1000. What gets everyone excited is that everyone believes they have discovered Skalvogh, the capital of the Shetlands during the Viking Age. Skalvogh is known from the Carta Marina drawn by a Swedish cartographer in the sixteenth century.
To stay updated, check the Skailway Project Facebook page!