Thursday, 27 August 2009

Neolithic temple found on Orkney

'Neolithic cathedral built to amaze’ unearthed in Orkney dig - The Times
A huge Neolithic cathedral, unlike anything else which can be seen in Britain, has been found in Orkney.

Archaeologists said that the building would have dwarfed the island’s landmarks from the Stone Age — the Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness. Nick Card, who is leading the dig at the Ness of Brodgar, said that the cathedral, which would have served the whole of the north of Scotland, would have been constructed to "amaze" and "create a sense of awe" among those who saw it.

It is about 65ft in length and width and would have dominated the Ring of Brodgar and the Stones of Stenness which stand on either side. These important sites, dating back about 5,000 years, might have actually been peripheral features of Orkney’s Stone Age landscape. Mr Card said: “In effect it is a Neolithic cathedral for the whole of the north of Scotland.”
It seems wrong to call this a "cathedral" which is a specifically Christian word meaning the building that houses a bishop's throne; but nevertheless it is a magnificent and and fascinating discovery. I wonder what could be reconstructed of Neolithic religious practice, if anything.


Anonymous said...

Nother place to go when we get to go back! Have you seen any pics of the hourglass stone they mention? Haven't found any yet.

Yewtree said...

No I haven't but do let me know if you find any more pics!

Ben Gage said...

great site, welcome info about the old ones.