Monday, August 13, 2007

Neolithic village found in Orkney sheds new light on Stone Age life
The remains of a Neolithic settlement discovered in Orkney were hailed yesterday as potentially as important as the Skara Brae village on the islands.

The 2.5 hectare site is believed to date back nearly 5,000 years and to include a complex system of temples and dwellings spread over two fields. The find, at Ness of Brodgar, between the Ring of Brodgar and the Stones of Stenness, will add to the area’s reputation as home to some of the most remarkable archaeological monuments in Europe.

Nick Card, project manager at the dig, began excavations two months ago with a team from Orkney College and Orkney Archaeological Trust. He said that the discovery had the potential to rank alongside Skara Brae, the Stone Age village that is now part of a World Heritage Site. “The discovery has the potential to illuminate how these different sites interacted and how people lived,” he said. “We are hopeful that every aspect of life 5,000 years ago will be clarified by our discoveries. This is not just about Neolithic life in the north of Scotland; it could have ramifications for the study of the Stone Age throughout Britain.”