The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Get the TMA Images feed
Kirsten's Latest Posts

Latest Posts

Skara Brae (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) — Fieldnotes

I visited this amazing place on a bitter January day last year and was surprised but pleased to be the only visitor.
I had been inspired to visit by an enthusiatic Icelandic history teacher many years before, but, being prone to sea sickness, had never quite mustered up the courage to take the ferry from the mainland. Having finally made it, I can only say "you must visit this place!" It's an awe inspiring glimpse at what our ancestors were capable of and it shattered many illusions I had held about my pre-Common Era predecessors being "primitive".
When I compare the architecture of Skara Brae, which has withstood thousands of years of fearsome Orkney weather with the modern cement and plastic skyrises that purportedly represent the pinnacle of our city dwelling civilisation, I can only laugh. In two hundred years, these modern day megaliths will be crumbling and close to collapse (if they haven't met the wrecking ball already). The builders and craftsmen of ancient Orkney really knew how to make their work last. You only need look at the perfectly hewn, carefully fitted stone masonry to see it. Not only that, but they knew how to landscape their homes to compliment the intense natural beauty which surrounded them. Form and function working together, six thousand years before the concept was invented!
The site is well thought out and constructed, allowing the visitor to get really close to the warren like village and to get a real feel of what it was like to live there.
Afterwards, I recommend a walk along the headland to Yesnaby cliffs to get a feel for the incredible natural architecture and geology of the area.
Living in China now, my friends are always boasting of their six thousand year old civilisation. After visiting Skara Brae, I can confidently make the same claim.
Kirsten hasn't added a profile

My TMA Content: