[NatureNS] Orkney's Neolithic Stone rings

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Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2014 09:29:05 -0300
From: Eleanor Lindsay <kelindsay135@gmail.com>
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On a completely different aspect of this topic, I was in Orkney in the 
'70s during the early displays of the first discovery of ancient 
dwellings which became exposed at Skara Brae after a major storm tore 
masses of turf off the nearby shoreline, uncovering an entire 
prehistoric village of stone houses with connected walkways. It was not 
hard to understand why this site had been chosen as the nearby cliffs 
around the bay consisted of a type of rock that, to this day still 
appears to shelve off in long slim slabs; these slabs were evident in 
every house and what, for me, remains so memorable was their use for 
everyday needs which were identical to ours today - small horizontal 
slabs inserted at various levels in the walls to provide shelves and, 
most striking of all, rectangular bed frames on the ground consisting of 
narrow strips of the stone slabs for the sides, tall upright slabs for 
the head and slightly smaller ones for the foot of the bed - exactly how 
we still do it today!! And what I saw at that time is only a mere 
fraction of what has been discovered since then...
The other site there that made a deep impression was the standing stones 
circle at the Moor of Brodgar; seeing it there in its (at least at that 
time) splendidly isolated setting looking no different than the day it 
was completed made a very powerful impression that left poor beleaguered 
Stonehenge, with all the traffic whizzing by, way behind.

Orkney is a totally fascinating place to visit, not so much for its 
scenery, but for its spectacularly rich endowment of an amazing variety 
of prehistoric to second world war history.

Eleanor Lindsay

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