A recent article by Peder Gammeltoft of Medievalists.net, points to the importance of Orkney & Shetland island names.
The islands of Orkney and Shetland consist of islands, skerries and holms which have long been an attraction to ancient travellers.
Scandinavian researchers have claimed that the names of these islands, by virtue of constant usage and relevance over time, belong among the oldest layers of names.
Much archaeological evidence on the islands bears witness to an occupation spanning thousands of years, with signs of human habitation dating further back than linguistic knowledge of the islands.
Island names should be able to provide an insight into the lives, strategies and needs of the people who eked out an existence in bygone days in Shetland and Orkney.
Read the article and PDF of the original from the University of Aberdeen.