Skip to comments.Scotland's Orkneys tell ancient stories
Posted on 11/05/2005 1:36:44 PM PST by SunkenCiv
[T]he 4,000-year-old standing stones of the Ring of Brogar -- a UNESCO World Heritage Site -- are startling. Thirty-six of the original 60 stones remain, in a perfect circle, each up to 13 feet tall, surrounded by a deep ditch cut into the rock. At dawn and dusk, the stones stand dark and imposing against the light reflecting off the Loch of Stenness below.
Farther along is the biggest tourist attraction on Orkney, the village of Skara Brae, protected under the sand for nearly 5,000 years until it was revealed by a huge storm in 1850.
Each of the stone houses still contains its central hearth, a pair of stone beds and a stone dresser used for storage and display of prized possessions.
Another must-see is Maes Howe, a Neolithic chambered tomb older than the Egyptian Pyramids that is most remarkable for the graffiti inscribed there more than 4,000 years later by 12th-century viking invaders. Like modern-day scribblers painting graffiti on a wall, they carved their names and the names of the women they loved in runes on the stones of the chamber.
Ruled by Norway until the 15th century -- Norway still hasn't formally recognized it as part of Scotland -- the Orkney group contains more than 70 islands, but just 17 of them are inhabited.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
FR Lexicon·Posting Guidelines·Excerpt, or Link only?·Ultimate Sidebar Management·Headlines
Donate Here By Secure Server·Eating our own -- Time to make a new start in Free Republic
PDF to HTML translation·Translation page·Wayback Machine·My Links·FreeMail Me
Gods, Graves, Glyphs topic·and group·Books, Magazines, Movies, Music
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)
Here is a link to some great photos of the places mentioned in the post.
Some good books there too, very thought provoking.
Can you imagine how bleak life was there and then.
aha, here it is ("Skra" instead of "Skara" made the search miss it):
Footsteps From The Past: The Ancient Village Of Skra Brae
Scotsman | 10-12-2005 | Caroline Wickham-Jones
Posted on 10/12/2005 5:23:11 PM PDT by blam
"Darlin', I'm tired of all this sand."
"Just hand me my bucket and shovel."
I'd have to say that, if people lived there, things may not have been how they are now. OTOH, the Orkneys have been pop-pop-popular (as popular as things get in the North Atlantic) for quite a while. Note, the "Orcades" mentioned here in Tacitus:
Tacitus: Life of Cnaeus Julius Agricola, c.98 CE
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
"The form of the entire country has been compared by Livy and Fabius Rusticus, the most graphic among ancient and modern historians, to an oblong shield or battle-axe. And this no doubt is its shape without Caledonia, so that it has become the popular description of the whole island. There is, however, a large and irregular tract of land which juts out from its furthest shores, tapering off in a wedge-like form. Round these coasts of remotest ocean the Roman fleet then for the first time sailed, ascertained that Britain is an island, and simultaneously discovered and conquered what are called the Orcades, islands hitherto unknown. Thule too was descried in the distance, which as yet had been hidden by the snows of winter. Those waters, they say, are sluggish, and yield with difficulty to the oar, and are not even raised by the wind as other seas. The reason, I suppose, is that lands and mountains, which are the cause and origin of storms, are here comparatively rare, and also that the vast depths of that unbroken expanse are more slowly set in motion. But to investigate the nature of the ocean and the tides is no part of the present work, and many writers have discussed the subject. I would simply add, that nowhere has the sea a wider dominion, that it has many currents running in every direction, that it does not merely flow and ebb within the limits of the shore, but penetrates and winds far inland, and finds a home among hills and mountains as though in its own domain."
Tacitus mentions "Thule", which was probably the Shetlands.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.