Gem of a find for Eilith on Muckle Roe walk

A walk on the beach at Muckle Roe produced a rare find for seven-year-old Eilith Gunn – a piece of prehistoric stone jewellery more than 2,000 years old.

Eilith came across the stone bead at the bottom of a burn while out with her father Dugald on the shores of Scarvataing.

The eagle-eyed youngster was delighted to find the stone and they and decided to take the find back home.

Eilith Gunn, aged seven, with her piece of jewllery found at Muckle Roe. Photo: Dave Donaldson.
Eilith Gunn, aged seven, with her piece of jewllery found at Muckle Roe. Photo: Dave Donaldson.

“It fitted her finger just like a ring, it was just the right size,” Dugald said. He spoke to his own father “who is quite into archaeology” and his father thought it was a spindle whorl.

But experts at Shetland Museum and Archives have

said it is instead a rare piece dating to back to the Iron or Stone Age.

Curator Ian Tait said: “In Shetland in ancient times, jewellery was not made from precious metal, it was made from local resources, and in the main stone.”

Soft rock called soapstone was the most common type of rock for beads, pendants and rings, he said. “It might be evidence of a hitherto unknown site.”

Dr Tait said the stone could be as old as 5,000 years.

Dugald, Eilith and her youngster sister Vaila, three, went to the museum last week to donate the piece of history.

“I was really surprised. I didn’t expect it to be that old,” Dugald added.


Add Your Comment

Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.