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Dr Esther Renwick is co-director of Moder Dy a community interest company based in Shetland, that promotes its maritime heritage. Her background is in the place and space and how people experience archaeology and heritage sites.
Dr Marc Chivers is is also co-director of Moder Dy and undertook a PhD in clinker-built boats from Shetland.
The archaeological record in Shetland dates to c.4300 BCE. However, the first tangible evidence for boat travel to and around this archipelago does not appear until cal. 850-960 CE. Travel and subsistence continued to be reliant upon small open boats until just after the second world war. In today’s society the way we view the sea has been turned on its head: we now view this as a barrier, rather than as a means for travel. This was an alien concept to our coastal dwelling ancestors, not only in archipelagos such as Shetland but, throughout the coastal communities of Europe and beyond: as bound was the boatless person! Within this talk we examine the evidence, speculative and otherwise, for pre-historic boat travel, placing this into a Northern Isles context. Our journey will then navigate through Shetland’s traditional boat culture examining the archaeological record that will build us a more complete seaward narrative of an almost forgotten and lost way of life. More on their web site moderdy.org
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