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Placing Papa Stour in context

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Chapter Summary

The Papar project is most impressive in its extent and has thus far included archaeology, history, geography, ecclesiastical evidence, environmental evidence including soil analysis from the sites, and linguistic and place-name evidence. This chapter considers Papa Stour, Shetland, in the context of the neighbouring islands of Vementry, Papa Little and Muckle Roe, all of which lie close to the mainland of Shetland on the south side of the deep indentation known as St Magnus Bay. The conclusion, from this brief overview of place-names on islands around St Magnus Bay, is that place-name evidence indicates that the settlement history of Papa Stour was very different from that of other neighbouring islands. There are no definitive answers to be had from place-name studies. The only thing that can be said definitively is that the Norse recognised the presence of the papar in their naming of their new Atlantic territories.

Keywords: Muckle Roe; Norse; Papa Stour; Shetland



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