Scot­land’s his­tory in 25 ob­jects

Learn about its fas­ci­nat­ing past cov­er­ing over 5,000 years

New Straits Times - - Jom! -

FROM a Ro­man dis­tance slab to a me­dieval foot­ball, Antarc­tic gog­gles and a danc­ing fid­dle, VisitS­cot­land has re­vealed the top 25 ob­jects that have shaped Scot­land’s his­tory in a stun­ning e-book. The list was un­veiled on In­ter­na­tional Chess Day held last month as a special nod to the most fa­mous chess pieces in his­tory — the Lewis Chess­men.

Com­piled by an ex­pert panel for the 2017 Year of His­tory, Her­itage and Ar­chae­ol­ogy, the 25 ob­jects cover over 5,000 years of Scot­tish his­tory and the length and breadth of the coun­try, from Shet­land to Dum­fries and Gal­loway.

The ob­jects were cho­sen based on chrono­log­i­cal and geo­graphic spread along­side their in­di­vid­ual in­ter­est­ing sto­ries.

VisitS­cot­land hopes that visi­tors will go on a trail while on hol­i­day to dis­cover as many of the ob­jects as pos­si­ble and in turn, dis­cover more about Scot­land’s fas­ci­nat­ing past.


The old­est ob­ject in the list is a barbed har­poon point (orig­i­nally found in the Macarthur Cave, Oban) that dates back to the Mid­dle Stone Age, and is one of the ear­li­est in­stru­ments used to hunt and fish in Scot­land.

The most mod­ern in the list is Dolly the Sheep — the first mam­mal to be cloned from an adult cell — who is cur­rently housed at the Na­tional Mu­seum of Scot­land in Ed­in­burgh and cel­e­brated her 20th an­niver­sary in 2016.

More un­usual ob­jects on the list in­clude the Orkney Venus — the ear­li­est known de­pic­tion of the fe­male hu­man form — which dates from the Ne­olithic pe­riod and was un­cov­ered at the Links of Nolt­land on the Orkney is­land of Westray in 2009.

A vi­o­lin which ig­nited Robert Burns’ re­bel­lious streak, re­veal­ing more about the great Bard’s per­son­al­ity, is an­other ob­ject that makes the fi­nal cut. The Gregg Vi­o­lin was owned by Burns’ dance teacher, Wil­liam Gregg.

In 1779, Robert Burns started tak­ing danc­ing lessons and wrote that he hoped th­ese new skills would “give my man­ners a brush”, but it was most likely an act of re­bel­lion be­cause his fa­ther did not ap­prove of such seem­ingly sin­ful be­hav­iour.

Scot­land’s Year of His­tory, Her­itage and Ar­chae­ol­ogy be­gan on Jan 1. To date, hun­dreds of events have hap­pened across the coun­try in­clud­ing Scot­land in Six, Weave, Ed­in­burgh’s Ge­or­gian Shad­ows, Trad­fest, Dig it! 2017, Fes­ti­val of Mu­se­ums and a range of ac­tiv­ity across His­toric En­vi­ron­ment Scot­land lo­ca­tions.

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