• The Rheingulden Coin, in 1469 Denmark-Norway mortgaged Shetland to Scotland for 10,000 Rheingulden.
  • Part of a hoard of Shetland knives, most of them shaped from felsite, dated approximately 3000-2000 BC.
  • The Monk Stone - a 1,300 year old Pictish altar with a carving of Christian missionaries crossing the sea Photo © Didier Piquer © Khanoppée

Early People

In the Early People zone you will learn about human settlement from the Stone Age to the end of the medieval period, around 4500 B.C. to A.D. 1500. 

You will find out about the vast changes within the islands during this time - including buildings, politics, language and religion - and how islanders adapted to these environmental and cultural influences.

Themes include: Farming and home life, culture and art, religion and politics.

Highlights include:

  • Shetland knives - these beautiful knives are made of a rock found only in one place in Shetland and were so precious they were often buried with grave goods.
  • Monk Stone – Pictish altar, with carving of Christian missionaries.
  • Rheingulden coin – a small coin which played a big part in Shetland’s history.


back to Galleries