Saturday, March 12, 2011

Celts to Vikings 13a: Brochs

One of the cool things about the Picts is that their kings and nobles lived in stark stone towers that we call brochs. About twenty of these survive to a reasonable height. They vary considerably in size, and some, like the Broch of Gurness (below), include impressive outer walls and many other structures.

The interiors of the brochs were divided into rooms, and some of the partitions survive:

There are two different ways of reconstructing what these brochs looks like. Some archaeologists think they looked like this, with a roof covering the whole interior well:

While others think the tower was open to the sky in the center:

Either way, they look like dismally uncomfortable places to live, especially through a Scottish winter. But I suppose freezing in the damp was better than being clubbed to death in your sleep by one of your howling, blue-painted neighbors.

No comments: