Orkney

Stenness from E

Revolutionising chronologies of Neolithic Orkney

Orkney has long been renowned for its wealth of well preserved Neolithic sites, such as Skara Brae, and it seems that much is known about the time and region. But a new study by a team at Historic England has set out to challenge our current understanding of the chronology of the period by compiling […]

Overview of site showing archaeologists working on Early Neolithic Houses

Neolithic house at Cata Sand

Braving the inter-tidal waves at at Cata Sand beach on Sanday, Orkney, archaeologists have uncovered the first ‘classic’ early Neolithic house to be discovered on the island. Dating from c.3400-3100 BC, the house’s remains comprise two construction layers, with internal structures ranging from a stone set hearth and various pits to partitioning walls. Its footprint […]

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Current Archaeology 328

Between 1974 and 1981 a remarkable campaign of excavations in Dublin exposed a swathe of the Viking town. From an archaeological perspective the conditions were perfect, with waterlogged layers preserving the vestiges of hundreds of houses and thousands of artefacts. But this was also a race against the clock, with public demonstrations buying more time […]

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Orkney: A tale of two Neolithics?

Investigating the evolution of house societies in Orkney For decades, the accepted view of the Orcadian Neolithic was one of two cultural packages with a sharp break in the middle. New research has revealed a much more complex and nuanced picture, however. Carly Hilts spoke to Colin Richards to find out more. The traditional understanding of the Neolithic period […]

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Current Archaeology 318

Neolithic tombs are often seen as ‘houses for the dead’. Striking similarities between the residences of the living and repositories for the deceased have long suggested a symbolic link, but could it be the other way round? Evidence from Orkney suggests that the departed were being laid to rest in their cairns for about 300 […]