explore the stone age village of Skara Brae
explore the stone age village of Skara Brae
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  • explore the stone age village of Skara Brae
  • discover how we lived 5,000 years ago
  • walk the timeline from the present to 3,000BC
  • remarkable stone age living preserved at Skara Brae
  • a stone age dresser in a Skara Brae dwelling
  • stone age living by the Bay of Skaill
  • studying the layout of the village
Orkney Skara Brae

This Neolithic village on the shores of the Bay of Skaill in Orkney’s west mainland is one of several stunning archaeological sites within the Heart of Neolithic Orkney UNESCO World Heritage Site.  This is the same status as held by the pyramids in Egypt and as you walk towards the New Stone Age houses of Skara Brae, a timeline illustrates how much older they are: Skara Brae 3200BC; Pyramids 2700BC.

Skara Brae is one of the earliest prehistoric groups of monuments in Scotland and was preserved through four millennia by a covering of white sand.  In 1850 a great storm blew away the sand to reveal the shapes of stone buildings. Laird William Watt of Skaill excavated the site and found the well-preserved ruins of at least ten ancient dwellings featuring stone dressers, fish tanks, stone beds and central hearths. They are linked by a communal covered passage. Objects such as quern stones for grinding corn and cells for storage give more insights into daily life.  The dwellings had turf roofs. You can walk through a reconstruction of a Skara Brae House, follow the timeline and view the interior of the original dwellings from above.  Historic Scotland has a visitor centre on the site with a café, shop, and a hands-on exhibition. You can have a go at rebuilding a Neolithic pot and stepping back in time through interactive games.  Skara Brae is open all year round.

In the summer months the entrance ticket to Skara Brae includes a visit to Skaill House 400 metres away.  The house was built in 1620 by Bishop George Graham on the site of a Norse farmstead.  Inside you can see rooms with furniture and artefacts belonging to generations of Skaill lairds and see a dinner service used by Captain James Cook on his final voyage.

Related Videos
Daniel Owen - Orkney next. I've actually been there. For a day. Went to Skara Brae, an early housing estate. Lovely place. #indyref
Jane - @john_mcguirk Orkney was an amazing place, at the forefront of civilization 5000 yeas ago. Check out Skara Brae.
laxR00ney - Neolithic settlement: Skara Brae, Orkney Is., is the oldest building in Britain (3100 BC). #Swaggy_Facts__ #Scotland http://t.co/0UbhsEORgW
DJ - RT @scotlandgloamin: Photo: Skaill House, Skara Brae, Orkney, Scotland by David May on Flickr. http://t.co/3Y1kuLac6j
Trip To Scotland - @welovehistory WOW! These 4,500 yr old bracelet beads were found at Skara Brae! For more info: http://t.co/eiOm8wjMB5 #ttot #scotland
j.c.smith - RT @scotlandgloamin: Photo: Skaill House, Skara Brae, Orkney, Scotland by David May on Flickr. http://t.co/3Y1kuLac6j
Google News
Stephen McGinty: History is not just what you read
... had taken the trouble to sign volume three: ?To Stephen, with thanks for a great conversation?; and c) I wanted to experience the great tidal flow of five thousand years of British history from Skara Brae to the Millennium Dome through a single ...
Eight things that you never realised were Scottish
7. Indoor toilet. Null. According to historian Allan Burnett, the earliest indoor toilet - dating back to around 3200-2200BC - was found in the wall of a village in Skara Brae, Orkney. 8. Colour photography. Null. Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell ...
The Independent
Schools to learn British history from Stone Age to web
The curriculum, for pupils aged five to 14, will require primary schools to start with late Neolithic hunter-gatherers and the Orkney Stone Age village of Skara Brae before moving on to the Iron Age. Then lessons will cover the Romans, Vikings, Magna ...
100 objects that can teach children about history
9 Carved stone balls from Skara Brae National Museum of Scotland. 10 Neolithic quern for making flour British Museum. 11 Mace head from near Stonehenge Wiltshire Museum. 12 Early Iron Age boat Vivacity Peterborough Culture and Leisure Trust.