The Picts

dig at HannigarthThe Brochs were known locally as the ‘Piets’ or Picts’ buildings.  Whether they built them or made use of them is open to debate.  It seems unlikely that the Picts first became Picts when they were spotted by the Romans.  A Pictish grave excavated at Sandwick [Unst] was dated 250-390 AD.  Two ‘painted pebbles’ were found at a lower level.

Some Brochs were later converted to ‘wheelhouses’ and a complete one can be seen at Scatness.

The presence of the Picts with their artistry and ability seems to diminish around the 7th.Century.  Were they practically wiped out by the effects of a volcanic eruption inIceland in 564AD?  If so perhaps the Norwegian history of the Vikings coming to an ‘empty land’ in Shetland could be near the mark.  They were not slow to boast about winning battles.