Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Island Paradise: Neolithic Orkney

I could go on for pages upon pages about the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When I went on my last day there, I took tons of pictures of the Standing Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar, which are comparable to Stonehenge in age and structure. These sites aren't henges, but they're standing stones that were arranged with some specific meaning by the neolithic inhabitants of Orkney. Nearby is the neolithic village of Skara Brae, which was discovered in 1850 when a storm hit the Bay of Skaill. One of the reasons why I find Orkney so fascinating is that it's quite literally teeming with sites like this, whether they be neolithic, or Viking sites like Maeshowe. All of these are visible within a fairly tightly zoomed area on the satellite map.

View Larger Map

The only thing even remotely comparable in the States that I know of would be the Manitou Cliff Dwellings outside Colorado Springs. I know there are also a couple of Viking settlements in the States, but even some of the Meso-American settlements in Central and South America wouldn't be as old as most of this stuff. Even when the place is completely waterlogged, it's still a really amazing feeling to walk around the Ring of Brodgar and think that people designed and constructed those structures hundreds or even thousand of years before the birth of Christ.

I first experienced Neolithic Orkney with Captain John and his family. I was absolutely awestruck, and I was pleased to have the opportunity to revisit this stunning historical site on the final day of my second expedition to Orkney.

No comments:

Post a Comment