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Newsletter #9 - 11th April 2021

Hi All!


Unfortunately, we some sad news this week; our Community Manager, Daniel Gordon Hall has had some schedule conflicts and we've parted ways. So, I'm tied up these week looking into Dundee-based PR companies to help optimize our social media, and hopefully bring more attention to our studio!


I'm also working on a second large puzzle area, which involves a maze of platforms, to really take advantage of the updated character controller with a platforming section. We haven't done any physical challenges in the game yet, so it's a good opportunity to test the new controller out. Watch this space!


It's been plenty of time, so I wanted to head back to Orkney to look at another Pictish site; this is one of the few sites on the southern Orkney island of Hoy, called the Drawfie Stane.



Dwarfie Stane is a very interesting site, because unlike other settlements, which use erected site, or Dry stone (mortarless stone) building, Drawfie Stane is carved out of a single piece of red sandstone measuring 8.5 metres long. It's one of two slabs (the other is called the Partick Stone, about 200 yards along the valley) that are believed to have broken away from the Dwarfie Hammars, the rock face above, during the last Ice Age, and have been moved across the valley by a retreating glacier (also called 'Glacial Erratic').



The Stane is believed to have been carved between the Neolithic and the Early Bronze Age, long before metal tools were being used; this means that the inside was carved out with stone or antler tools, which would have taken a huge amount of effort. Two cells were carved out, with a passage leading the outside; with a closing stone to block out the wind. Each cell is marked with a 'lip' to signify a doorway, and one even have a stone 'pillow' (look at the back of the inlet below), suggesting that it might have been a resting place more than a tomb.



The stone was broken into through the roof (which has been repaired and restored since) suggests that the lack of remains or artifacts might be because the Stane is a plundered Tomb; however, whether or not Dwarfie Stane was ever a tomb is still in question.


One interesting story, is that a British spy named Major William Mounsey took shelter in Dwarfie Stane in 1850, and carved, in Persian script, the words 'I have sat two nights and have learned patience'.

We know about him because he also carved his name backwards in latin. There's also a story that a stonemason and geologist named Hugh Miller also stayed overnight in 1846, and it's possible that the stone 'pillow' may have actually have been carved by him.



Dwarfie Stane is a really interesting case study, because it's so rare (even possibly unique) to see a carved stone tomb in the British Isles, especially one this old. it's good to see how this seamless stone texture with weathered wear on the walls, and how this could be used to create interesting setups.


Thanks for reading!


Vaughan


REFS:

http://www.orkneyjar.com/history/tombs/dwarfiestane/index.html

https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/dwarfie-stane/

https://www.northlinkferries.co.uk/orkney-blog/all-about-the-dwarfie-stane/

https://www.orkney.com/listings/dwarfie-stane

https://hoyorkney.com/attractions/hoy-history/dwarfie-stane/

https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/dwarfie-stane

https://www.wondermondo.com/dwarfie-stane/

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