Could Scotland be the birthplace of Neolithic culture in Britain?
As we learn more about the ancient stone circles and henges across Britain we get closer to understanding more about the people that created them. We still don’t know who created Stone Henge or its hundreds of sister sites, but we know they get older then further north we go.
The Ness of Brodgar predates Stone Henge by hundreds of years and seems to have been the central gathering point for large rituals for Neolithic Orkney, it also is within close proximity to Skara Brae which is on of the oldest surviving housing structure in Britain.
Skara Brae was inhabited roughly 4500 to 5200 years ago which makes it older that the Great Pyramids and Stone Henge, it’s been referred to as the Scottish Pompeii due to the excellent preservation of artifacts at the site.
The above picture shows what Skara Brae currently looks like.
The sites in the surrounding areas make up the ‘Heart of Neolithic Orkney’ and have helped build a better understanding of how and why henges were constructed and used, they have also helped to better understand how people in Britain lived prior to Roman invasion. The sites include multiple henges, a village, a cathedral and a burial site or ‘Cairn’.
The below picture is an artistic impression of what the Ness of Brodgar may have looked like when it was occupied.
What we do know is that the culture across Britain changed over time and the earlier forms of monumentalisation such as chambered tombs were eventually replaced with the construction of stone circles as evidenced with the considerable amount of bone fragments unearthed around sites like Stone Henge.
I am certainly following discoveries in this area with interest but I'm sure we can all agree that even 5000 years on, Scotland is still leading the way with culture across Britain!!!