Firth of Forth
The Firth of Forth is the estuary of several Scottish rivers including the River Forth. It meets the North Sea with Lothian on the south, it was known as Bodotria in Roman times. In the Norse sagas it was known as the Myrkvifiörd. An early Welsh name is Merin Iodeo, or the "Sea of Iudeu". Geologically, the Firth of Forth is a fjord, formed by the Forth Glacier in the last glacial period; the drainage basin for the Firth of Forth covers a wide geographic area including places as far from the shore as Ben Lomond, Harthill and the edges of Gleneagles Golf Course. Many towns line the shores, as well as the petrochemical complexes at Grangemouth, commercial docks at Leith, former oil rig construction yards at Methil, the ship-breaking facility at Inverkeithing and the naval dockyard at Rosyth, along with numerous other industrial areas, including the Forth Bridgehead area, encompassing Rosyth and the southern edge of Dunfermline, Kirkcaldy, Bo'ness and Leven; the firth is bridged in two places. The Kincardine Bridge and the Clackmannanshire Bridge cross it at Kincardine, while the Forth Bridge, the Forth Road Bridge and the Queensferry Crossing cross from North Queensferry to South Queensferry, further east.
The Romans made a bridge of around 900 boats at South Queensferry. From 1964 to 1982, a tunnel existed under the Firth of Forth, dug by coal miners to link the Kinneil colliery on the south side of the Forth with the Valleyfield colliery on the north side; this is shown in the 1968 educational film "Forth - Powerhouse for Industry". The shafts leading into the tunnel were filled and capped with concrete when the tunnel was closed, it is believed to have filled with water or collapsed in places. In July, 2007, a hovercraft passenger service completed a two-week trial between Portobello and Kirkcaldy, Fife; the trial of the service was hailed as a major operational success, with an average passenger load of 85 percent. It was estimated the service would decrease congestion for commuters on the Forth road and rail bridges by carrying about 870,000 passengers each year. Despite the initial success, the project was cancelled in December, 2011; the inner firth, located between the Kincardine and Forth bridges, has lost about half of its former intertidal area as a result of land reclamation for agriculture, but for industry and the large ash lagoons built to deposit spoil from the coal-fired Longannet Power Station near Kincardine.
Historic villages line the Fife shoreline. The firth is a Site of Special Scientific Interest; the Firth of Forth Islands SPA is home to more than 90,000 breeding seabirds every year. There is a bird observatory on the Isle of May; the youngest person to swim across the Firth of Forth was 13-year-old Joseph Feeney, who accomplished the feat in 1933. In 2008, a controversial bid to allow oil transfer between ships in the firth was refused by Forth Ports. SPT Marine Services had asked permission to transfer 7.8 million tonnes of crude oil per year between tankers, but the proposals were met with determined opposition from conservation groups. Bass Rock Craigleith Cramond Eyebroughy Fidra Inchcolm Inchgarvie Inchkeith Inchmickery with Cow and Calf The Lamb Isle of May lowest bridging point: Stirling North shore South shore Isle of May bird observatory Forthfast experimental hovercraft service, 16–28 July 2007 Inchcolm Virtual Tour Take a virtual tour around some of the Inchcolm's military defences
Firth of Clyde
The Firth of Clyde is an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean off the southwest coast of Scotland, named for the River Clyde which empties into it. It encloses the largest and deepest coastal waters in the British Isles, sheltered from the Atlantic Ocean by the Kintyre peninsula which encloses the outer firth in Argyll and Ayrshire; the Kilbrannan Sound is a large arm of the Firth of Clyde, separating the Kintyre Peninsula from the Isle of Arran. Within the Firth of Clyde is another major island – the Isle of Bute. Given its strategic location, at the entrance to the middle/upper Clyde, Bute played a vitally important military role during World War II; the Firth's climate enjoys the benefit of the Gulf Stream, part of the North Atlantic Drift, originating in the Gulf of Mexico. At its entrance the firth is some 26 miles wide, its upper reaches include an area where it is joined by the Gare Loch. This includes the large anchorage off Greenock known as the Tail of the Bank in reference to the sandbar which separates the firth from the estuary of the River Clyde.
The Clyde is still 2 miles wide at the sandbar, its upper tidal limit is at the tidal weir adjacent to Glasgow Green. The cultural and geographical distinction between the firth and the River Clyde is vague, people will sometimes refer to Dumbarton as being on the Firth of Clyde, while the population of Port Glasgow and Greenock refer to the firth to their north as "the river". In Scottish Gaelic the landward end is called Linne Chluaidh, while the area around the south of Arran and Ayrshire/Galloway is An Linne Ghlas; the Firth encompasses many islands and peninsulas and has twelve ferry routes connecting them to the mainland and each other. Sometimes called the Clyde Waters, this water body is customarily considered an element of the Irish Sea; the ferry services are run by Caledonian MacBrayne and by Western Ferries and many of the routes are lifeline services for communities living in remote areas. A great number of sea lochs adjoin the largest being Loch Fyne; the Cowal peninsula forms the main upper firth west shoreline.
The main town on the Cowal peninsula is Dunoon. These routes across the Firth of Clyde save time, rather than traveling "round by road", via Loch Eck side, the Rest and be thankful and Loch Lomond side; the service between Dunoon and Gourock in Inverclyde, operated by the Caledonian MacBrayne subsidiary Argyll Ferries is a foot passenger only service. This service connects directly with the Abellio ScotRail service to Glasgow. Western Ferries operate the service between Hunters Quay and McInroy's Point near Gourock and carry all types of vehicular transport and foot passengers; this lists some of the numerous villages along the firth. There are many islands in the firth; the largest all have thriving communities and regular ferry services connecting them to the mainland. They are: Arran Bute Cumbrae; the Battle of Largs in 1263 marked the turning point for the end of Norse ambitions in Britain. Progressively from the 16th century onwards the Clyde became the conduit for commerce and industry, including herring, wine, tobacco, textiles and steel, oil, chemicals and brewing, locomotives and other manufactured products.
During World War II Glasgow and the Clyde became Britain's main entry point for Allied merchant shipping, military personnel and equipment, for the assembly and control of ocean convoys. The Clyde formed the largest base of naval ships. Among many wartime innovations to support air and territorial combat the world's first deep water test of a submarine oil pipeline was conducted in 1942 on a pipeline laid across the Firth of Clyde in Operation Pluto. In the middle of the 19th century the sport of yachting became popular on the Clyde; the area became famous worldwide for its significant contribution to yachting and yachtbuilding with notable designers including: William Fife III. It was the location of many famous yacht yards. Clyde-built wooden yachts are still known for style today. With the advent of tourism in Victorian times, the area became popular with Glaswegians and residents of neighbouring towns and counties who travelled "doon the watter" on Clyde steamers to holiday in the picturesque seaside towns and villages that line the firth, with the more wealthy building substantial holiday homes along its coasts.
Many towns such as Gourock, Ayr, Rothesay flourished during this period and became fledged resorts with well-appointed hotels and attractions. Golf courses increased including major championship courses; the steam-powered PS Waverley still makes cruising trips to these coastal towns, in addition to regular services. Tourism and recreation, heritage history attract visitors from across the world; the Firth is ringed by many castles and buildings of historical importance which are open to the public, including Inveraray Castle, Brodick Castle, the opulent Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute, Culzean Castle, the most visited attraction owned by National Trust for Scotland. Ocean liners are frequent callers at Greenock, Glasgow International Airport and Glasgow Prestwick Airport are nearby. Rail services to and from the coast, including links to Oban and Fort William, are frequent, with city terminals in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Daily ferry services connect with Belfast; the "lower Clyde" shipyards of Greenock and Port Glasgow, most no
Vikings were Norse seafarers speaking the Old Norse language, who during the late 8th to late 11th centuries and traded from their Northern European homelands across wide areas of Europe, explored westwards to Iceland and Vinland. The term is commonly extended in modern English and other vernaculars to the inhabitants of Norse home communities during what has become known as the Viking Age; this period of Nordic military and demographic expansion constitutes an important element in the early medieval history of Scandinavia, the British Isles, Kievan Rus' and Sicily. Facilitated by advanced sailing and navigational skills, characterised by the longship, Viking activities at times extended into the Mediterranean littoral, North Africa, the Middle East. Following extended phases of exploration and settlement, Viking communities and governments were established in diverse areas of north-western Europe, Belarus and European Russia, the North Atlantic islands and as far as the north-eastern coast of North America.
This period of expansion witnessed the wider dissemination of Norse culture, while introducing strong foreign cultural influences into Scandinavia itself, with profound developmental implications in both directions. Popular, modern conceptions of the Vikings—the term applied casually to their modern descendants and the inhabitants of modern Scandinavia—often differ from the complex picture that emerges from archaeology and historical sources. A romanticised picture of Vikings as noble savages began to emerge in the 18th century. Perceived views of the Vikings as alternatively violent, piratical heathens or as intrepid adventurers owe much to conflicting varieties of the modern Viking myth that had taken shape by the early 20th century. Current popular representations of the Vikings are based on cultural clichés and stereotypes, complicating modern appreciation of the Viking legacy; these representations are not always accurate — for example, there is no evidence that they wore horned helmets.
One etymology derives víking from the feminine vík, meaning "creek, small bay". Various theories have been offered that the word viking may be derived from the name of the historical Norwegian district of Viken, meaning "a person from Viken". According to this theory, the word described persons from this area, it is only in the last few centuries that it has taken on the broader sense of early medieval Scandinavians in general. However, there are a few major problems with this theory. People from the Viken area were not called'Viking' in Old Norse manuscripts, but are referred to as víkverir,'Vík dwellers'. In addition, that explanation could explain only the masculine and ignore the feminine, a serious problem because the masculine is derived from the feminine but hardly vice versa; the form occurs as a personal name on some Swedish runestones. The stone of Tóki víking was raised in memory of a local man named Tóki who got the name Tóki víking because of his activities as a viking; the Gårdstånga Stone uses the phrase "ÞeR drængaR waRu wiða unesiR i wikingu", referring to the stone's dedicatees as vikings.
The Västra Strö 1 Runestone has an inscription in memory of a Björn, killed when "i viking". In Sweden there is a locality known since the middle ages as Vikingstad; the Bro Stone was risen in memory of Assur, said to have protected the land from vikings. There is little indication of any negative connotation in the term before the end of the Viking Age. Another etymology, one that gained support in the early twenty-first century, derives Viking from the same root as Old Norse vika, f.'sea mile', originally'the distance between two shifts of rowers', from the root *weik or *wîk, as in the Proto-Germanic verb *wîkan,'to recede'. This is found in the Proto-Nordic verb *wikan,'to turn', similar to Old Icelandic víkja'to move, to turn', with well-attested nautical usages. Linguistically, this theory is better attested, the term most predates the use of the sail by the Germanic peoples of North-Western Europe, because the Old Frisian spelling shows that the word was pronounced with a palatal k and thus in all probability existed in North-Western Germanic before that palatalisation happened, that is, in the 5th century or before.
In that case, the idea behind it seems to be that the tired rower moves aside for the rested rower on the thwart when he relieves him. The Old Norse feminine víking may have been a sea journey characterised by the shifting of rowers, i.e. a long-distance sea journey, because in the pre-sail era, the shifting of rowers would distinguish long-distance sea journeys. A víkingr would originally have been a participant on a sea journey characterised by the shifting of rowers. In that case, the word Viking was not connected to Scandinavian seafarers but assumed this meaning when the Scandinavians begun to dominate the seas. In Old English, the word wicing appears first in the Anglo-Saxon poem, which dates from the 9th century. In Old English, in the history of the archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen written by Adam of Bremen in about 1070, the term referred to Scandi
The River Forth is a major river, 47 km long, whose drainage basin covers much of Stirlingshire in Scotland's Central Belt. The Gaelic name is Abhainn Dubh, meaning "black river", in the upper reach above Stirling. Below the tidal reach, its name is Uisge For; the Forth rises in a mountainous area 30 km west of Stirling. Ben Lomond's eastern slopes drain into the Duchray Water which meets with Avondhu River coming from Loch Ard; the confluence of these two streams is the nominal start of the River Forth. From there it flows eastward, through Aberfoyle, joining with the Kelty Water, about 5 km further downstream; the flat expanse of the Carse of Stirling follows including Flanders Moss. It is joined by the River Teith just west of the M9, the next tributary being the Allan Water just east of that motorway. From there it meanders into the ancient port of Stirling. At Stirling the river widens, becomes tidal, it is here that the last ford of the river exists. From Stirling, the Forth flows east accepting the Bannock Burn from the south before passing the town of Fallin.
Two towns of Clackmannanshire are passed: firstly Cambus followed by Alloa. Upon reaching Airth on the south shore and Kincardine on the north, the river begins to widen and becomes the Firth of Forth; the banks have many settlements including Aberfoyle, Stirling, Cambus, Alloa, South Alloa, Dunmore and Kincardine. Beyond this the brackish water is considered the Firth of Forth. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Stirling harbour was a busy port, with goods coming into Scotland and being exported to Europe. Links with the Hansa towns were strong, Stirling had a close relationship with Bruges in Belgium and Veere in the Netherlands. After 1707 much of the trade shifted to the port of Glasgow, as trade with America became the new focus. During the First and Second World Wars, Stirling harbour thrived again as a gateway for supplies of tea to Scotland. Trade returned after the wars but the few agricultural merchants based at Stirling found such shipping uncompetitive due to high shore dues levied by the harbour’s owners.
Today Stirling's harbour is not used but there are plans to redevelop it. Upstream of Stirling, the river is crossed in numerous places. After its confluence with the Teith and Allan, the river is sufficiently wide that a significant bridge is required. A bridge has existed at Stirling since at least the 13th century, until the opening of the road crossing at Kincardine in 1936, Stirling remained the easternmost road crossing; the Alloa Swing Bridge, a railway bridge between Alloa on the north shore and Throsk on the south opened in 1885 and was closed in 1970. Only the metal piers remain; the Clackmannanshire Bridge just upstream of the Kincardine Bridge opened on 19 November 2008. Much further downstream joining North Queensferry and South Queensferry is the famous Forth Bridge opened in 1890, the Forth Road Bridge which opened in 1964. In 2011 construction began on the Queensferry Crossing, to the west of the Forth Road Bridge, which opened on 4 September 2017. Two islands known as inches form part of the meandering estuarine waters downstream from Stirling.
Tullibody Inch near Cambus and Alloa Inch near Alloa are both small and uninhabited. River Forth, a silent black and white short film - includes scenes of animals being herded through the streets. Britain's Lost Routes with Griff Rhys Jones Episode 3 shows the difficulties cattle drovers might have encountered at Frew, shows aerial shots and taking cows across the Auld Brig. Sruth gu Sal - a look at the Forth river Episode 1 -25 mins 400 kV Forth Crossing List of rivers of Scotland Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland Forth, the name of one of the sea areas of the British Shipping Forecast. Scottish Parliament: Forth Crossing Bill Committee Report, March 2010 River Forth Crossing: House of Commons debates 18 May 2009 British Waterways: River Forth Gazetteer for Scotland: River Forth SCRAN image: Steam dredger, River forth, late 19th Century Stirling Council: River Forth Forth Ports PLC Scottish Environment Protection Agency: River level data for River Forth Forth Estuary Forum, a Scottish Charity Forth District Salmon Fishery Board River Forth Fisheries Trust Forth Bridges Visitor Centre Trust FYCA Alloa Swing Bridge RIVER FORTH FORTH - POWERHOUSE FOR INDUSTRY
Old English, or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest historical form of the English language, spoken in England and southern and eastern Scotland in the early Middle Ages. It was brought to Great Britain by Anglo-Saxon settlers in the mid-5th century, the first Old English literary works date from the mid-7th century. After the Norman conquest of 1066, English was replaced, for a time, as the language of the upper classes by Anglo-Norman, a relative of French; this is regarded as marking the end of the Old English era, as during this period the English language was influenced by Anglo-Norman, developing into a phase known now as Middle English. Old English developed from a set of Anglo-Frisian or Ingvaeonic dialects spoken by Germanic tribes traditionally known as the Angles and Jutes; as the Anglo-Saxons became dominant in England, their language replaced the languages of Roman Britain: Common Brittonic, a Celtic language, Latin, brought to Britain by Roman invasion. Old English had four main dialects, associated with particular Anglo-Saxon kingdoms: Mercian, Northumbrian and West Saxon.
It was West Saxon that formed the basis for the literary standard of the Old English period, although the dominant forms of Middle and Modern English would develop from Mercian. The speech of eastern and northern parts of England was subject to strong Old Norse influence due to Scandinavian rule and settlement beginning in the 9th century. Old English is one of the West Germanic languages, its closest relatives are Old Frisian and Old Saxon. Like other old Germanic languages, it is different from Modern English and difficult for Modern English speakers to understand without study. Old English grammar is similar to that of modern German: nouns, adjectives and verbs have many inflectional endings and forms, word order is much freer; the oldest Old English inscriptions were written using a runic system, but from about the 9th century this was replaced by a version of the Latin alphabet. Englisc, which the term English is derived from, means'pertaining to the Angles'. In Old English, this word was derived from Angles.
During the 9th century, all invading Germanic tribes were referred to as Englisc. It has been hypothesised that the Angles acquired their name because their land on the coast of Jutland resembled a fishhook. Proto-Germanic *anguz had the meaning of'narrow', referring to the shallow waters near the coast; that word goes back to Proto-Indo-European *h₂enǵʰ- meaning'narrow'. Another theory is that the derivation of'narrow' is the more connection to angling, which itself stems from a Proto-Indo-European root meaning bend, angle; the semantic link is the fishing hook, curved or bent at an angle. In any case, the Angles may have been called such because they were a fishing people or were descended from such, therefore England would mean'land of the fishermen', English would be'the fishermen's language'. Old English was not static, its usage covered a period of 700 years, from the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain in the 5th century to the late 11th century, some time after the Norman invasion. While indicating that the establishment of dates is an arbitrary process, Albert Baugh dates Old English from 450 to 1150, a period of full inflections, a synthetic language.
Around 85 per cent of Old English words are no longer in use, but those that survived are basic elements of Modern English vocabulary. Old English is a West Germanic language, it came to be spoken over most of the territory of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms which became the Kingdom of England. This included most of present-day England, as well as part of what is now southeastern Scotland, which for several centuries belonged to the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria. Other parts of the island – Wales and most of Scotland – continued to use Celtic languages, except in the areas of Scandinavian settlements where Old Norse was spoken. Celtic speech remained established in certain parts of England: Medieval Cornish was spoken all over Cornwall and in adjacent parts of Devon, while Cumbric survived to the 12th century in parts of Cumbria, Welsh may have been spoken on the English side of the Anglo-Welsh border. Norse was widely spoken in the parts of England which fell under Danish law. Anglo-Saxon literacy developed after Christianisation in the late 7th century.
The oldest surviving text of Old English literature is Cædmon's Hymn, composed between 658 and 680. There is a limited corpus of runic inscriptions from the 5th to 7th centuries, but the oldest coherent runic texts date to the 8th century; the Old English Latin alphabet was introduced around the 9th century. With the unification of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms by Alfred the Great in the 9th century, the language of government and literature became standardised around the West Saxon dialect. Alfred advocated education in English alongside Latin, had many works translated into the English language. In Old English, typical of the development of literature, poetry arose before prose, but King Alfred the Great chiefly inspired the growth of prose. A literary standard, dating from the 10th century, arose under the influence of Bishop Æthelwold of Winchester, was followed by such writers as the prolific Ælfric of Eynsham. Th
Middle Irish is the Goidelic language, spoken in Ireland, most of Scotland and the Isle of Man from circa 900–1200 AD. The modern Goidelic languages—Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Manx—are all descendants of Middle Irish; the Lebor Bretnach, the "Irish Nennius", survives only from manuscripts preserved in Ireland. Middle Irish is a VSO, nominative-accusative language. Nouns decline for two genders: masculine, though traces of neuter declension persist. Adjectives agree with nouns in gender and case. Verbs conjugate for three tenses: past, future. Verbs conjugate for an impersonal, agentless form. There are a number of preverbal particles marking the negative, subjunctive, relative clauses, etc. Prepositions inflect for number. Different prepositions govern different cases, depending on intended semantics; the following is a poem in Middle Irish about King of Connacht. Dún Eogain Bél forsind loch forsrala ilar tréntroch, ní mair Eogan forsind múr ocus maraid in sendún. Maraid inad a thige irraibe' na chrólige, ní mair in rígan re cair nobíd.
Cairptech in rí robúi and, innsaigthech oirgnech Érenn, ní dechaid coll cána ar goil, rocroch tríchait im óenboin. Roloisc Life co ba shecht, rooirg Mumain tríchait fecht, nír dál do Leith Núadat nair co nár dámair immarbáig. Doluid fecht im-Mumain móir do chuinchid argait is óir, d’iaraid sét ocus móine do gabail gíall dagdóine. Trían a shlúaig dar Lúachair síar co Cnoc mBrénainn isin slíab, a trían aile úad fo dess co Carn Húi Néit na n-éces. Sé fodéin oc Druimm Abrat co trían a shlúaig, nísdermat, oc loscud Muman maisse, ba subach don degaisse. Atchím a chomarba ind ríg a mét dorigne d’anfhír, nenaid ocus tromm ’malle, conid é fonn a dúine. Dún Eogain. MacManus, Damian. "A chronology of the Latin loan words in early Irish". Ériu. 34: 21–71. McCone, Kim. "The dative singular of Old Irish consonant stems". Ériu. 29: 26–38. McCone, Kim. "Final /t/ to /d/ after unstressed vowels, an Old Irish sound law". Ériu. 31: 29–44. McCone, Kim. "Prehistoric and Middle Irish". Progress in medieval Irish studies. Pp. 7–53.
McCone, Kim. A First Old Irish Reader, Including an Introduction to Middle Irish. Maynooth Medieval Irish Texts 3. Maynooth. Dictionary of the Irish Language
Orkney known as the Orkney Islands, is an archipelago in the Northern Isles of Scotland, situated off the north coast of the isle of Great Britain. Orkney is 10 miles north of the coast of Caithness and comprises 70 islands, of which 20 are inhabited; the largest island, Mainland, is referred to as "the Mainland", has an area of 523 square kilometres, making it the sixth-largest Scottish island and the tenth-largest island in the British Isles. The largest settlement and administrative centre is Kirkwall. Orkney is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, a constituency of the Scottish Parliament, a lieutenancy area, a historic county; the local council is Orkney Islands Council, one of only three Councils in Scotland with a majority of elected members who are independents. A form of the name dates to the pre-Roman era and the islands have been inhabited for at least 8,500 years occupied by Mesolithic and Neolithic tribes and by the Picts. Orkney was colonized and annexed by Norway in 875 and settled by the Norse.
The Scottish Parliament annexed the earldom to the Scottish Crown in 1472, following the failed payment of a dowry for James III's bride Margaret of Denmark. In addition to the Mainland, most of the islands are in two groups, the North and South Isles, all of which have an underlying geological base of Old Red Sandstone; the climate is mild and the soils are fertile, most of the land being farmed. Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy; the significant wind and marine energy resources are of growing importance, the island generates more than its total yearly electricity demand using renewables. The local people are known as Orcadians and have a distinctive dialect of the Scots language and a rich inheritance of folklore. Orkney contains some of the oldest and best-preserved Neolithic sites in Europe, the "Heart of Neolithic Orkney" is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and there is an abundance of marine and avian wildlife. Pytheas of Massilia visited Britain – sometime between 322 and 285 BC – and described it as triangular in shape, with a northern tip called Orcas.
This may have referred to Dunnet Head. Writing in the 1st century AD, the Roman geographer Pomponius Mela called the islands Orcades, as did Tacitus in 98 AD, claiming that his father-in-law Agricola had "discovered and subjugated the Orcades hitherto unknown" Etymologists interpret the element orc- as a Pictish tribal name meaning "young pig" or "young boar". Speakers of Old Irish referred to the islands as Insi Orc "island of the pigs"; the archipelago is known as Ynysoedd Erch in modern Welsh and Arcaibh in modern Scottish Gaelic, the -aibh representing a fossilized prepositional case ending. Some earlier sources alternately hypothesize that Orkney comes from whale; the Anglo-Saxon monk Bede refers to the islands as Orcades insulae in his seminal work Ecclesiastical History of the English People. Norwegian settlers arriving from the late ninth century reinterpreted orc as the Old Norse orkn "seal" and added eyjar "islands" to the end so the name became Orkneyjar "Seal Islands"; the plural suffix -jar was removed in English leaving the modern name "Orkney".
According to the Historia Norwegiæ, Orkney was named. The Norse knew Mainland, Orkney as Megenland "Mainland" or as Hrossey "Horse Island"; the island is sometimes referred to as Pomona, a name that stems from a sixteenth-century mistranslation by George Buchanan, used locally. A charred hazelnut shell, recovered in 2007 during excavations in Tankerness on the Mainland has been dated to 6820–6660 BC indicating the presence of Mesolithic nomadic tribes; the earliest known permanent settlement is at Knap of Howar, a Neolithic farmstead on the island of Papa Westray, which dates from 3500 BC. The village of Skara Brae, Europe's best-preserved Neolithic settlement, is believed to have been inhabited from around 3100 BC. Other remains from that era include the Standing Stones of Stenness, the Maeshowe passage grave, the Ring of Brodgar and other standing stones. Many of the Neolithic settlements were abandoned around 2500 BC due to changes in the climate. During the Bronze Age fewer large stone structures were built although the great ceremonial circles continued in use as metalworking was introduced to Britain from Europe over a lengthy period.
There are few Orcadian sites dating from this era although there is the impressive Plumcake Mound near the Ring of Brodgar and various islands sites such as Tofts Ness on Sanday and the remains of two houses on Holm of Faray. Excavations at Quanterness on the Mainland have revealed an Atlantic roundhouse built about 700 BC and similar finds have been made at Bu on the Mainland and Pierowall Quarry on Westray; the most impressive Iron Age structures of Orkney are the ruins of round towers called "brochs" and their associated settlements such as the Broch of Burroughston and Broch of Gurness. The nature and origin of these buildings is a subject of ongoing debate. Other structures from this period include underground storehouses, aisled roundhouses, the latter in association with earlier broch sites. During the Roman invasion of Britain the "King of Orkney" was one of 11 British leaders, said to have submitted to the Emperor Claudius in AD 43 at Colchester. After the Agricolan fleet had come and gone anchoring at Shapinsay, direct Roman influence seems to have been limited to trade rather than conquest.
By the late Iron Age, Orkney was part of the Pictish kingdom, although the archaeological remains from this period are less