To the north of the dun territory, in Orkney and Shetland, Caithness and Skye, appeared a series of tall, tapering, stone towers, clearly designed as fortifications and known as brochs. As Euan MacKie has observed, these were the only advanced architectural buildings ever to be created entirely within prehistoric Britain, apart from Stonehenge. About 500 of them are known in northern Scotland where some of them once stood 9 m. (10 yd) or more in height and over 20 m. (22 yd) in diameter (plate 51). Each circular tower consists of an inner and outer layer of dry-stone walling tied together with a series of horizontal lintels which bridge the gap between them. In this space, which is about 1 m. (1 yd) wide, are a series of galleries superimposed one above the other and a slab-built staircase which climbs clock-wise to the top of the tower. The galleries were probably intended only to lighten the weight of the tower wall, thus allowing it to be built higher. The total thickness of the wall at its base was about 4.5 m. (5 yd).
The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village on the northwest coast of Mainland Orkney in Scotland overlooking Eynhallow Sound.
Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found at the Broch of Gurness, lending weight to the record that a “King of Orkney” submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.
A broch is an Iron Age drystone hollow-walled structure of a type found only in Scotland. The word broch is derived from Lowland Scots ‘brough’, meaning (among other things) fort. Archaeologically the structures are classified as Atlantic Roundhouses.
Jarlshof archaeological site | Shetland, Scotland
Discovery and Excavation in Scotland- Open Access
The bullaun stone was found in an old graveyard
19 May 2012
“A stone discovered by chance on the Isle of Canna is Scotland’s first known example of a bullaun “cursing stone”, experts have revealed.
Dating from about 800 AD, the stones are associated with early Christian crosses - of which there is one on the isle.
It was found in an old graveyard by a National Trust for Scotland (NTS) farm manager.
The stone is about 25cm in diameter and engraved with an early Christian cross.
It was later found to fit exactly into a large rectangular stone with a worn hole which was located at the base of the Canna cross.
NTS manager of Canna, Stewart Connor, said the importance of the stone became clear after he was notified of the discovery.
He said: “We knew of the importance of bullaun stones and that it could be a really significant find.
“Our head of archaeology confirmed a possible link to the stone at the cross and I was so excited that I went back out at 9pm that night to check whether it fitted the stone with the hole and it did.”
Read More Here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-18130259
Laser scanning reveals ancient stone chambers in Orkney with accuracy to 6mm, capturing even ancient carved “graffiti”.
Highlands, by Akos Major
The difference between Great Britain, England, and the United Kingdom (and a whole lot more), as explained by CGP Grey.