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Newsletter #5 - 14th March 2021

Hi All!

It's been a slow week from Design, but Konstantinos, our artist, has recently posted some amazing shots of some new models we'll be using for stairs.

On top of that, we're still working through more content and designing a lot of VFX effects for use throughout the game! They're still in their rough stages but already, the results look incredible. It's still going to take a lot of time however; as much as I've got a handle on the Visual Scripting but being a VFX Artist is much more than doing the basics; It might be worth looking around for a VFX Artist soon to complete the work.

Today, I wanted to look at an interesting site in the Shetlands Islands (North of the Orkney Islands) that is actually just as famous as a Norse settlement as it is as a Neolithic site; Jarlshof Prehistoric and Norse Settlement.

Jarlshof is a complete smorgasbord of historical sites; late Neolithic houses, a Bronze Age village and an Iron Age broch, but is has been in near constant use since the 16th century, when it functioned as a laird's house. a Norse longhouse is also at the site, along with remains of a medieval farmstead. This means that Jarlshof had been in near constant use for 4000 years.

it's believed that the first settlers in the Shetlands may have landed close to Jarlshof over 5000 years ago, before the first iteration of the site was constructed around 2700BC. Pottery, similar to that found in Skara Brae has been discovered here which signifies a strong connection between the two island groups.

Vikings are believed to have first arrived at Jarlshof around 850AD; the Shetlands are only two days from Norway, and while it's not known if the Vikings and the Picts co-existed on the islands, a large settlement of several houses were constructed between the 9th and the 14th centuries, due to the change in the architecture of the ruins that remain (Scandinavian longhouses are rectangular, when Pictish structures tended to be circular).

The site was initially investigated by John Bruce between 1897 and 1905, and over a 50 year period several more archaeologists compiled more and more information on Jarlshof before J.R.C Hamilton published the excavation results in 1957. The overlapping structures show how limited the space around the Shetlands were, and it's really inspiring to see how even the Neolithic sites managed to survive as every new iteration of Jarlshof was added to this historical mosaic.

I'd love to talk about Jarlshof more (seriously, read the links below, it's fascinating!) but it's literally 19:59 and I've run out of time, so thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoy doing your own reading on Jarlshof!



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