The Pictish period
Little remains of the early Pictish settlement
on the Brough. When the Norse took over the island, they built their
own distinct buildings over the remains of the earlier structures.
Although all that is visible to the modern visitor
is a small well and a section of wall, archaeological
excavations on the site have revealed the remains of oval shaped
Pictish houses thought to date from around 600-700AD.
But despite the lack of Pictish structural remains
on the Brough, the wealth of artefacts found indicate the site was
once fairly prosperous, perhaps home to an individual or family
of considerable status.
Hundreds of fragments of broken moulds, as well as a number of complete moulds, were found on the site. These, together with the crucibles and pieces of worked bronze, confirmed the presence of a metalworker.
From the patterns on the recovered moulds it is clear that jewellery
typical of the Pictish period was created there.
But of all the Pictish artefacts, undoubtedly
one of the most Orkney's most recognisable was uncovered
during excavations on the Brough in 1935.
Back then the fragments of a mysterious
Pictish symbol stone were unearthed within the area that formed
a later Christian kirkyard.