Midlothian artefacts feature in new book

Dolly the sheep has been named as one of 25 objects that have shaped Scotland's history in VisitScotland's stunning new e-book.
Dolly the sheep has been named as one of 25 objects that have shaped Scotland's history in VisitScotland's stunning new e-book.

The first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell has been named as one of 25 objects that have shaped Scotland’s history in VisitScotland’s stunning new e-book.

Dolly, dubbed the world’s most famous sheep, features in Scotland’s History in 25 Objects, which has been created as part of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

Also on the list are the Honours of Scotland, the nation’s Royal regalia, which are housed at Edinburgh Castle, and The Penicuik Jewels, which are among the few remaining items that once belonged to Mary Queen of Scots.

Compiled by an expert panel, the 25 objects cover more than 5000 years of Scottish history and hail from the length and breadth of the country, from Shetland to Dumfries & Galloway.

The objects were chosen based on chronological and geographic spread alongside their individual interesting stories.

The final 25 were chosen by a panel that included representatives from Historic Environment Scotland, National Museums of Scotland, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and VisitScotland.

VisitScotland hopes that visitors will go on a trail this summer to discover as many of the objects as possible and, in turn, discover more about Scotland’s fascinating past.

Created at the Roslin Institute in 1996, Dolly the Sheep quickly became a media sensation, highlighting the advancement of Scottish science and sparking debate about the ethics of cloning. Passing away in 2003, she can still be seen on display at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

The Penicuik Jewels, which can be viewed at the National Museum of Scotland, consist of a necklace, pendant and locket. Dating from the late 16th century, they were long preserved by the Clerks of Penicuik as relics of Mary Queen of Scots.

Manuela Calchini, regional director at VisitScotland, said: “It is fantastic to see so many objects that are either from, or currently located in, Edinburgh and the Lothians make the list. Scotland’s history, heritage and archaeology are among the top reasons for visiting Scotland. This is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism in every single corner of the country. We hope lots of visitors enjoy this fascinating e-book.”

Helen Ireland, director of external relations, National Museums Scotland, added: “We are delighted to be part of this enterprising project in the Year of History Heritage and Archaeology. The five objects selected from the national collections demonstrate the incredible range of our collections. We hope that the e-book will encourage even more people to discover the outstanding heritage of Scotland and to visit the National Museum of Scotland in particular.”

The national tourism organisation is encouraging the public to suggest their own ideas for objects that have played a part in Scotland’s history that haven’t been included in the list. Suggestions can be made on social media using the hashtags #25objects #hha2017

Scotland’s History in 25 Objects is now available to download at http://ebooks.visitscotland.com/25-objects/