Scotland’s deep past has been given a comic-book twist to bring its stories to life.
Archaeologists, historians, scientists and specialists in climatology and the natural sciences have produced a graphic novel-style guide, Telling Scotland’s Story, illustrated by the Scottish artist Sha Nazir of Black Hearted Press and written by James Crawford, communications manager of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) .
Collaborating for the first time through the Scottish Archaeological Research Framework (ScARF), this group expects to uncover stories of Scotland’s past and solve mysteries that have continued to elude explanation.
Their comic book, launched today, tells the story of some of these mysteries, including the Storegga tsunami – a giant wave that hit Scotland 8,000 years ago and caused the greatest natural disaster Northern Europe has ever known, swamping a huge area of rich hunting grounds – known as “Doggerland” to archaeologists – that stretched from Aberdeen to Denmark.
Frankenstein’s Mummies was inspired by two skeletons found buried under a Bronze Age House. DNA testing has revealed each of the skeletons – which are more than 3,500 years old – are made up of the body parts of at least two separate people.
Another story follows the trail of the Buannachan – the Gaelic name for the Scottish mercenaries who, in the 15th century, travelled Europe, selling their fighting prowess to the highest bidder.
Launching the book, culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “By providing information in a different format, targeting a different audience, I hope this publication will whet the public’s appetite for using ScARF and its outputs – thereby unlocking the science and knowledge for a broader audience.”