The Ness of Brodgar

Archaeologists expose the sophisticated stone masonry of the 5000 year old Ness of Brodgar temple complex in Orkney

Archaeologists expose the sophisticated stone masonry of the 5000 year old Ness of Brodgar temple complex in Orkney

In 2008, archaeologists working within sight of the striking stone circle known as the Ring of Brodgar discovered what appears to be a massive and very important stone-built temple complex on the Ness of Brodgar. This ‘temple’ or palace contains evidence of painted masonry and among its remains have been found carved stones (including a carved stone ball), and statuary items made of red clay (and I think here of the ‘idol’ once venerated on Inniskea). The temple is associated with a massive rampart wall some 4 metres thick that runs along the edge of the Ness.

Visitors examining the remains of another sophisticated Neolithic structure in Orkney - Scara Brae.

Visitors examining the remains of another sophisticated Neolithic structure in Orkney – Scara Brae.

The discovery at the Ness of Brodgar demonstrates the sophisticated neolthic Atlantic culture’s architectural prowess already known about from the site of Scara Brae, uncovered from sand dunes in a storm during the early 20th century, and thought initially to be Roman.

The Ness of Brodgar is the thin finger of land in the middle of the map. The famous Maes Howe cairn whose chamber aligns the winter solstice lies just southeast

The Ness of Brodgar is the thin finger of land in the middle of the map. The famous Maes Howe cairn whose chamber aligns the winter solstice lies just southeast

The sophistication and scale of the Neolithic stone circles, temples, tombs and settlements across the eastern Atlantic Archipelago (ie – the British Isles and Ireland) points towards a very special culture with a deep spiritual connection to their landscape, the heavens and the cycles of the seasons.

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