Sunday, January 8, 2012

Significant Orkney Temple Predates Stonehenge

Artist's conception of a section of the Ness of Brodgar.

A 5000-year-old temple in Orkney, at the northern tip of Britain, could be more important than Stonehenge, some archaeologists are saying. Known as the Ness of Brodgar, it may replace Stonehenge as the center of Neolithic culture.
So far, the remains of 14 Stone Age buildings have been excavated, but thermal geophysics technology has revealed that there are 100 altogether, forming a kind of temple precinct. The site also contains Britain’s earliest known wall paintings.
“The excavation of a vast network of buildings on Orkney is allowing us to recreate an entire Stone Age world,” according to Neil Oliver. “It’s opening a window onto the mysteries of Neolithic religion.” 
Experts believe that the site will give us insights into what Neolithic people believed about the world and the universe. 
Some parts of the temple are 800 years older than Stonehenge, which lies 500 miles to the south in Wiltshire. The site is very close to the Ring of Brodgar stone circle and the standing stones of Stenness, and is surrounded by a wall believed to have been 10-feet high.
Archaeologists found red zigzag lines on some of the buildings’ inner walls that they believe is Stone Age art – the oldest ever found. So far only around 10 per cent of the site has been examined – and it could take decades to uncover and analyse everything there. 

1 comment:

Drusin said...

Proof we have so much to learn about our own past. I believe the megalithic stones of Orkney had a utilitarian function. Their locations and orientations, I propose, have more to do with defense lines against an enemy who wielded bows and projectile weaponry. The stones themselves resemble lines of soldiers, standing abreast and in rows. Often the broadest plateau of the stones were oriented to provide the largest surface area of coverage from incoming weapons. Archers could still shoot out between and duck to safety. Angles in dolmens could also then be explained as fox holes in the face of an arched enemy whose weapon would be launched on an arched trajectory. Covered in earth and grass they would have provided camouflaged areas to lay in ambush . Return fire could be shot out from behind metholithic lines which make for formidable shields. Semi-circle configurations provide a cone shaped field of defense against invaders. They were often placed along ridges and slopes of shorelines. Notches and holes might also have been used as sites for aiming and protection simultaneously. In essence they were fox holes and trenches.
For an expanded explanation go to

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