Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tuesday, August 30th, Kirkwall, Orkney Islands


We drove to three of the four of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney's World Heritage sites today.  We'll see the fourth tomorrow morning (Maeshowe).  Though closed for the season, Caz gave us the details on the Ness of Brodgar, which is revealing new information on its role as the center of a huge ceremonial complex, including the Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness.

Skare Brae has been called the oldest known village in Europe where you can still see the houses with their original stone furniture.  Built five thousand years ago, it consists of eight or more dwellings of square rooms with central hearths, stone beds on both sides, a shelved stone dresser opposite the entrance, covered passageways, and utilizing commons drains.
Revealed by erosive storms, its future is continually threatened.

The Ring of Brodgar, an almost true circle of standing stones, 104 meters in diameter, it is the third largest stone circle in the British Isles.

Thought originally to contain some 60 stones, the circle has lost stones to local destruction and at least one lightning strike.  Standing between two and seven meters high, the current count is 27 stones.

The Standing Stones of Stenness contains fewer, taller stones, arranged originally in an oval, built earliest, and with a hearth stone area in the middle.  A common misunderstanding is the depth of the stone in the ground.  The answer is much less than is believed, with wedged stones supporting a short burial.

To see all of the photos taken today, click on Tuesday, August 30th.

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