Describe Online

How Our Ancestors Shaped the Land and It Shaped Their Lives

The First People in Scotland the landscape provided more than food and shelter for our early ancestors it was central to cultural and ritual practices.

Death and Ritual in Bronze Age Scotland how burial traditions developed and why valuable items were buried with people.

Life on Water what was life like on crannogs, artificial islands built on water?

Vikings in Scotland not just violent raiders, the Vikings settled, intermarried and farmed here what were their lives like?

To Reach

From the Rear Entrance

Unless you need step-free access, the easiest way to reach this gallery is via the Southwest Stairs from the South Foyer. Turn left at the top of these stairs, then left again into the gallery. If you wish to view the exhibits in Chronological order, we suggest you enter via the second (west) entrance and work your way east from there.

From the Main Entrance

Whilst you could make your way via the Lower West Stairs to Ground Floor Level, then via the Southwest Stairs to First Floor Level, you may as well use the lift.

Via the Lift

From the Main entrance, continue past Reception, turn right and continue to the wall at the west end of the central space, then move left to locate the West Lift.

Go to First Floor Level, turn right (south) and continue to the top of the Southwest Stairs, in front of you. Turn right and take either the first or second turning left into the gallery. If you wish to view exhibits in chronological order, we suggest you take the second entrance and make your way east.


East Section - Vikings in Scotland

South Side

  audio-visual about the Vikings.

There's a large display, in the middle of this space, Vikings in Scotland.

West Side

  gaps to second section

North Side

  east entrance

Second Section - Living on the Water

In the middle of this area is a display of early boats, including a large dug-out canoe.

South Side

  audio-visual about living on islands
exhibition of Crannogs

North Side

  poster describing the restoration of archaeological finds

West Side

The Third Section - Death and Ritual in Bronze Age Scotland

South Side

  gaps to third section
  audio-visual, funeral ceremony

The central display shows burial artefacts.

West Side

  gaps to fourth section

The Fourth Section - The First People in Scotland

South Side

  audio-visual, early beginnings, life in woodland

West End

  gap to Object Cinema
blank doors

North Side

  west entrance

Central Display - glass cases showing stone trade and Scottish standing stones.

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