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The continued existence of legal, educational, religious and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union with England.
Repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land mass of modern Scotland, destroyed any traces of human habitation that may have existed before the Mesolithic period.
Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles, titles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland.
The legal system within Scotland has also remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland; Scotland constitutes a distinct jurisdiction in both public and private law.
In the Bay of Skaill, the storm stripped the earth from a large irregular knoll, known as "Skerrabra".
When the storm cleared, local villagers found the outline of a village, consisting of a number of small houses without roofs.
The well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period.
Roman invasions and occupations of southern Scotland were a series of brief interludes.
In addition to the mainland, the country is made up of more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.
The Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707.
It was also discovered for the first time that early Bronze Age people placed flowers in their graves.
Scotland may have been part of a Late Bronze Age maritime trading culture called the Atlantic Bronze Age, which included other Celtic nations, and the areas that became England, France, Spain, and Portugal.