Author Topic: Ness of Brodgar  (Read 399 times)

Sriram

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Ness of Brodgar
« on: December 16, 2015, 04:07:54 AM »
Hi everyone,

Here is an article about an ancient site in Britain (Scotland).

 http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20151210-were-these-remote-wild-islands-the-centre-of-everything

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Orkney’s number of Stone Age sites implies that the remote Scottish islands once may have been at the centre of it all.

Brodgar Farm – now best known for the site found on its property, called the Ness of Brodgar – is on the Mainland island of the Orkney archipelago, about 30 miles off Scotland’s northern coast. The site sits on a finger-like peninsula between the lochs of Harray and Stenness – and at the centre of an archaeological gold mine. On a hill half a mile northwest is the Ring of Brodgar, a stone circle erected around the same time as Stonehenge, some 4,500 years ago. A third of a mile in the other direction are the Stones of Stenness, erected two centuries before that.

Within a mile and a half, you’ll also find the Barnhouse Settlement, the remnants of a village inhabited 5,100 years ago; Maeshowe, the most spectacular chambered tomb of its kind in northwest Europe, built around 3,000 BC and forgotten until Vikings broke in in 1153, leaving runes in their wake; and more than a dozen other prehistoric burial mounds, as well as standing stones and slabs. (Before the 2003 discovery, Brodgar Farm already had two ancient standing stones in the front garden). Skara Brae, the best-preserved prehistoric village in all of northern Europe, lies just another five miles away.

Archaeologists have known for a long time that Neolithic people hardly lived in the kind of caricature world of the Flintstones. Take 5,000-year-old Skara Brae: the village’s houses had insulation between their two-layered stone walls; furniture including built-in stone dressers and stone box beds that would have been made soft and warm with animal skins and plants; and even, in one home, Britain’s earliest toilet.

“They were no different from us. They were just as inventive – and in some ways more inventive,” Card said. “When most people think about the Stone Age, even the New Stone Age, and the advent of farming, they think of it as a very simple lifestyle. But I think Neolithic society was more or less as dynamic and complex as our society today.”

The Ness of Brodgar underscores that even further. Both the size and intricacy of the complex are unlike anything that’s been found in Europe before. The main building, nicknamed the “cathedral”, had an area of some 465sqm, including a forecourt; the entire Ness was surrounded by a wall more than 365m long. And far from being just thrown up, they were carefully laid out according to a plan. “The buildings aren’t just structures. They are pieces of architecture,” Card said.

I realised that I’d thought the tranquillity and intimacy of Orkney’s sites would help me appreciate our prehistoric ancestors. But here at the buzzing Ness, I felt, instead, a vibrant energy – the same feeling that comes with meeting some truly extraordinary people for the very first time.

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Thought it may be of interest to some of you.

Cheers.

Sriram

Gordon

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Re: Ness of Brodgar
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2015, 07:47:35 AM »
Been there several times, sometimes in relation to work and at other times just because we liked it.

Once, when there for work reasons, when a meeting was cancelled I drove out to the Ring of Brodgar and had the place all to myself. The archaeology is breathtaking (especially Skara Brae), and if any members here ever get the chance to visit then do so - you won't regret it. 

trippymonkey

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Re: Ness of Brodgar
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2015, 08:50:39 AM »
A close friend, David, is from the Orkneys. His dad was from there but his mum was from Kent.
We went to see his father there, in fact, just a year or two before he passed on. A VERY wild place indeed.

Hardly a tree at all as it's too windy & remote a set of islands for them to grow much. David used to actually work in all the ancient sites there, all of which have survived in some way because they're all made of stone, cos of lack of trees to use !!!!! He took me round all the sites he worked in & I found it fascinating !!!!

Nick

Red Giant

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Re: Ness of Brodgar
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2015, 08:53:36 AM »
Archaeologists have known for a long time that Neolithic people hardly lived in the kind of caricature world of the Flintstones.
No dinosaurs, for one thing.  They'd all been wiped out in the Flood.

trippymonkey

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Re: Ness of Brodgar
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2015, 09:27:52 AM »
OH OF COURSE !!!!!!! ;) ::)