Neolithic Sites in the Orkney Islands

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Astronuc
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I was reading a recent issue of National Geographic and there was an article on Neolithic structures in the Orkney Islands. It is fascinating.

Before Stonehenge
One long-ago day around 3200 B.C., the farmers and herdsmen on Scotland’s remote Orkney Islands decided to build something big...
They had Stone Age technology, but their vision was millennia ahead of their time. Five thousand years ago the ancient inhabitants of Orkney—a fertile, green archipelago off the northern tip of modern-day Scotland—erected a complex of monumental buildings unlike anything they had ever attempted before.

They quarried thousands of tons of fine-grained sandstone, trimmed it, dressed it, then transported it several miles to a grassy promontory with commanding views of the surrounding countryside. Their workmanship was impeccable. The imposing walls they built would have done credit to the Roman centurions who, some 30 centuries later, would erect Hadrian’s Wall in another part of Britain.
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2014/08/neolithic-orkney/smith-text

Sites includes Ness of Brodgar, Maes Howe, Skara Brae, Tomb of the Eagles, and Stones of Stenness

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2014/08/neolithic-orkney/megalith-map
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2014/08/neolithic-orkney/brodgar-graphic

"In 1958 a farmer digging flagstones accidentally uncovered the 5,000-year-old Tomb of the Eagles. It held more than 16,000 human bones mingled with the talons of white-tailed eagles."

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/120127-stonehenge-ness-brodgar-scotland-science/
http://www.orkneyjar.com/archaeology/nessofbrodgar/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ness_of_Brodgar

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2012/oct/06/orkney-temple-centre-ancient-britain

http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/index/places/propertyresults/propertydetail.htm?PropID=PL_280
http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk...L_244&PropName=Skara Brae Prehistoric Village

http://www.maeshowe.co.uk/maeshowe/standing.html
http://www.orkneyjar.com/history/standingstones/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standing_Stones_of_Stenness

Skara Brae
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skara_Brae
http://www.orkneyjar.com/history/skarabrae/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/history/articles/skara_brae/

The Knap o' Howar, Papay
http://www.orkneyjar.com/history/knaphowar.htm

 
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Dotini
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Maybe 5000 years ago the mysterious Orkney vole appeared. Since the Orkneys were a known maritime trading center, it seems possible they arrived as stowaways on trading vessels from as far as the Mediterranean. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orkney_vole

Some of the Orkney ruins seem to have been ritually filled in before abandonment, a practice we have seen at Gobekli Tepe.
 

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