I’m doing a bit of TV catch-up with meals to give my brain some relaxation from reading government documents. Today I watched a BBC history program about an excavation of a Neolithic site in Orkney that made my jaw drop. The dig has actually been in progress since 2007, so I guess I should have known about it, but to those of you outside the UK it should still come as news.
The Ness of Brodgar site is located on a thin spit of land between two lochs in the west of Orkney. It consists of a number of large — some very large — stone buildings, surrounded by a 10 foot high stone wall. Some of the interior walls appear to have been painted. The site was started around 3300 BC, several hundred years before Stonehenge was built, and remained in use for some 1200 years. That’s a stone age civilization, folks. There’s a huge amount of information (and much speculation about Neolithic religion) available on the dig’s website. Definite fantasy novel fodder, I would have thought.