Chapter 1 of 24
The Museum From The North West
The Museum of Scotland: I'd like to discuss some of the issues which we found on the site but initially I'd like to talk about the ideas which we brought to the project. The story begins 190 million years ago during the Permian period and at that time Scotland was located just north of the Equator and the climate was similar to the Sahara Desert. Dinosaurs were walking across the sand leaving imprints, and the sand dunes themselves were formed by drifting and were laid down by wind. This had a number of consequences. It meant they were not sedimentary and it means that the stone, the sandstone which emerged from that, bore the imprint of the fossils of the dinosaurs, and the stones could be laid in any direction. Because they were not sedimentary and laid down in layers, they could be cut wither vertically or horizontally. Which meant that we could extract from this stone, which we found up in the Moray Estuary, very, very large stone indeed. We knew that the museum would have to have very large areas of essentially blank wall and, as a way of enriching that, we could use the natural figure of the stone itself.