This was a most amazing day spent on Orkney, an archipelago off the northeastern coast of Scotland. It encompasses some of the most amazing neolithic sites in the world. Maeshowe, one of the finest chambered tombs in northwest Europe, was built around 5,000 years ago.It sits out in the middle of a farm surrounded by grazing cattle. If they only understood its significance! Maeshowe was used for several hundred years, then sealed and abandoned. Inside the structure are graffiti carved into the stones after Norse travelers rediscovered Maeshowe in the 1100’s. This graffiti comprises the largest collection of runic inscriptions outside Scandinavia. It must be remembered that Orkney was under Norwegian rule until 1468.
It was then on to Skara Brae, the best-preserved prehistoric village in Northern Europe. The houses here still contain the main items of furniture. A visitor is able to get a very clear picture of what the interior of houses occupied by early farming people some 4500 years Aho actually looked like. Walking round this ruin was fascinating to say the least. Another stop was the Stones of Stenness which are hundreds of years older than Stonehenge. Only a few of the stones remain but the one that doer are incredible big! The Ring of Brodgar Stone Circle and Henge is an enormous ceremonial site dating back to the 3rd millennium BC and was another ancient site visited today. One can conjure up all sorts of rituals being performed around these ancient stones.
Our final stop of the day was the Broth at Gurness an icon of Orkneys rich archaeological heritage. Personally, I love broths, having visited 2 of them last summer in Glen Elg. They fascinate me and this one was the best yet. This impressive Iron Age complex is one of the most outstanding examples of a later prehistoric settlement to survive in Scotland. All in all, this amazing day revealed treasures you never think you will have the privilege of exploring. Orkney is definitely worth a visit!