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Skara Brae, Orkney, Scotland. Source: Jule_Berlin / Adobe Stock.

Scotland's Most Mysterious Stone Age Settlements (Video)

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Exploring the enigmatic past of Scotland's ancient settlements is a journey into the depths of history. Duncansby Head lighthouse, perched on the remote northeast tip of the British mainland, stands as a silent sentinel, guarding the secrets of the nearby Orkney Islands. Over 70 islands, a mosaic of ancient life, each with its own story to tell. Inhabited by a population of 22,000, the Mainland of Orkney holds the key to understanding the dawn of the New Stone Age, when settlers arrived over 6,000 years ago. Skara Brae, often dubbed the Scottish Pompeii, is a 5,000-year-old settlement, revealing a snapshot of ancient life. Unearthed by the forces of nature in 1850, it unveils houses with a common layout - stone-built cupboards, dressers, and hearths nestled in single, spacious rooms.

These structures provide a glimpse into the gatherings around the hearth during Orkney's long, dark winters. Further east on the island, Broch of Gurness, dating from around 500 BC, tells another chapter of this ancient saga. Centered around a towering stone broch, this settlement may have been home to as many as 40 families, perhaps the principal clan of the region. As we peel back the layers of history, the mysteries of these ancient settlements slowly unveil, challenging our understanding of the past.

Top image: Skara Brae, Orkney, Scotland. Source: Jule_Berlin / Adobe Stock.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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