Excavations at Underhoull, Unst, Shetland
Floor, Stone Vessels Amber, Soapstone Vessels, Cannel Coal, Iron Working, Settlement, Pottery
15th, Late 18th
A site near the Broch of Underhoull had three periods of occupation, the earliest indicated by a very fragmentary hut floor and associated narrow souterrain; on a similar horizon were pottery fragments comparable with some from Jarlshof (EIA phase). The second occupation, indicated by a hut floor with two hearths, had industrial purposes, including iron working and manufacture of stone vessels. Amber and cannel coal were among the prolific small finds: a clear stratigraphical break divided this horizon from the Viking occupation, when a level platform was constructed for an almost boat-shaped longhouse paralleled at Jarlshof (Norse 1). Mixed farming was carried on and pebble line-sinkers suggest fishing. Soapstone vessels did duty for pottery, as at Jarlshof. This occupation seems to have begun in 9th cent and flourished in 10th. A few of the finds from all periods are figured.