SKARA BRAE - STONE AGE VILLAGE
The Prehistoric Village of Skara Brae is the best preserved group of Neolithic houses in Western Europe and is thought to be around some five thousand years old. The village itself has been carefully excavated and there is an interesting tour, starting with a short film to give an idea of what life might have been like, plus a copy of one of the houses has been constructed so visitors can walk around inside, and at certain times of the year they have re-enactment groups on site.
Everyone there at the site was really friendly and helpful, and it made my visit a pleasure. The walk to the actual village is close for anyone fit, but a bit far for me, and they have a mobility scooter for a that very purpose, All in all a most enjoyable visit, and thoroughly recommended for all ages.
The first group of photos are of the reconstructed house, so it has a roof and you can get a real idea of how it might have been to live in one of these houses all that time ago. They have installed artificial lighting so you can see to walk round, though presumably the light would have come from the fire in the open hearth
This shows the dresser on the right of the picture, what appears to be a window in the middle of the wall at the back is a small opening (with strong electric light inside) to what may have been an indoor loo. There is a large bed on the left of the photo and the square in the foreground is the central hearth, the smoke would have exited through a hole in the turf covered roof
This shows the two further beds on the opposite side of the room. There are storage places sunk in the floors to contain water, probably to store live shellfish for use in bad weather, and there is a further 'worktop with storage beneath' plus large rectangular sunken trough which might have served as a sink, or possibly have been for earthware storage conatiners - these were usually made with rounded bottoms, so would need to be sunk in sand to stay upright
This was just outside the main entrance door, but inside the 'porch' They say it was for food storage, but I think it was for putting the stone age equivalent of your wellies
There are a quite a few of these houses though I didn't include photos of everyone of them it is a fascinating place to visit. In between the houses are sunken pathways and little meeting squares where these stone age dwellers could have walked and chatted out of the winds of the Orkney seashore. Work is still going on there and they have recently discovered what they think is an underground drainage and water network
I spent the night parked up overlooking Skaill Bay - and this was the evening view from Thebus' window
And early the next morning to the left and then to the right
Below are photos of the actual excavated remains of the
Stone Age houses