Prehistoric Scotland

This is the time before written documentation. History is found, not in words but in Standing Stones, Geology, Archaeology. Our understanding of these early times is very basic, new revelations and theories are happening all the time so this is a history not set in stone, it’s one that is constantly changing.

Geologists (specifically geomorphologists) tell us that by 600 million years ago, it was attached to North America, and north of a land mass the would become England, which was attached to what would be mainland Europe. After much drifting over vast amounts of time, the two land masses collided. An ancient sea still separated the two lands called Iapetus. After this sea dried up the two lands joined, supposedly around where Hadrian’s wall is.

Scotland’s landscape formed by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Volcanoes along the Western side formed all the many islands.

The so-called “Highland Line” is actually a remnant of that turbulent period of land activity. Faults in the Earth’s surface would produce distinct structural divisions in the land that we now call Scotland. The Highland Boundary Fault Line was formed about 4 million years ago, from the splitting and folding of the Earth’s crust, and runs diagonally southwest (Firth of Clyde) to the northeast (Stonehaven).

Several ice ages pass.

Settlers came to Scotland several thousand years after the last Ice Age, but no one knows exactly whom the original people were. There are many theories about this. Man first inhabited north-western Europe 300,000 years ago we have yet to find anything older than 8500 BC (The oldest human settlement (yet found) in Scotland, is at Cramond, near Edinburgh) but who knows what new evidence will be unearthed.

Scotland, at various times, had been a desert, a swamp, tropical rainforest and a frozen, partially trapped, land under mountains of ice.