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May 18, 2017

Stone Age delights in Orkney

The One Day Creative marketing team recently took a little holiday to the beautiful island of Orkney, off Scotland’s north coast. As well as having beautiful scenery and lovely beaches, Orkney is also home to some very special stone age sites…

The standing stones of Stenness, the Ring of Brodgar and Skara Brae are just a few of the beautiful remains you can see when you visit. All date back to the Stone Age, and all are surrounded in mystery. So what do archaeologists think about the people who built these sites, and what they used them for?

The Standing Stones of Stenness

These standing stones were built in the neolithic era (late Stone Age) and pre-date Stonehenge and the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt!

The purpose of the standing stones remains a mystery, but it’s believed that they were used for festivals and events. If you stand in the very centre of the stones and clap your hands or shout, you can hear it echo! This may mean that there was music or chanting involved in these festivals too.

Like Stonehenge, the stones have been positioned in a very specific way. It’s believed that there was originally 12 stones, but with local farmers needing stone for building, many were broken and removed. Now, only four remain.

Animal bones have also been found at the site, which means that there was a lot of feasting happening at this stone circle too!

What is Skara Brae?

Skara Brae is a neolithic village by the Skail coast in Orkney. It’s considered to be one of the best ancient sites in the world and the village contains houses, a rubbish pit and a workshop, giving a valuable insight into how neolithic people would have lived.

All of the houses are made from tightly packed stone, and would have been home to entire family units. Even the beds and storage units were made out of stone and would have been made more comfortable with the help of some animal skins. Skara Brae was abandoned around 2500 BC, and archaeologists believe that this could be to do with the food supply running out in the area, or that the inhabitants started building homes out of wood instead of stone.

The village was lost underground for tens of thousands of years, until it was rediscovered in 1850 by William Watt as he walked along the coast. A storm had uncovered some holes in the ground, which when excavated turned out to be an intact village!

A lot of artefacts have been found at Skara Brae, and these show that the people who lived there made jewellery, hunted and even travelled to other settlements.

One Day Creative’s Stone, Bronze and Iron Age workshops

If you’re fascinated by all things Stone Age, One Day Creative have the perfect workshop for schools! Savage Stone, Bronze and Iron Age takes kids on a fascinating journey through prehistory using role play, drama and teamwork. To find out more and to book, click on the link above.

Eleanor and the One Day Creative team x

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