It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
The temple complex of the Ness of Brodgar, and its size, complexity and sophistication have left archaeologists desperately struggling to find superlatives to describe the wonders they found there. "We have discovered a Neolithic temple complex that is without parallel in western Europe. Yet for decades we thought it was just a hill made of glacial moraine," says discoverer Nick Card of the Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology. "In fact the place is entirely manmade, although it covers more than six acres of land.
Once protected by two giant walls, each more than 100m long and 4m high, the complex at Ness contained more than a dozen large temples – one measured almost 25m square – that were linked to outhouses and kitchens by carefully constructed stone pavements. The bones of sacrificed cattle, elegantly made pottery and pieces of painted ceramics lie scattered round the site. The exact purpose of the complex is a mystery, though it is clearly ancient. Some parts were constructed more than 5,000 years ago.
What is clear is that the cultural energy of the few thousand farming folk of Orkney dwarfed those of other civilisations at that time. In size and sophistication, the Ness of Brodgar is comparable with Stonehenge or the wonders of ancient Egypt. Yet the temple complex predates them all. The fact that this great stately edifice was constructed on Orkney, an island that has become a byword for remoteness, makes the site's discovery all the more remarkable. For many archaeologists, its discovery has revolutionised our understanding of ancient Britain.
We need to turn the map of Britain upside down when we consider the Neolithic and shrug off our south-centric attitudes," says Card, now Brodgar's director of excavations. "London may be the cultural hub of Britain today, but 5,000 years ago, Orkney was the centre for innovation for the British isles. Ideas spread from this place. The first grooved pottery, which is so distinctive of the era, was made here, for example, and the first henges – stone rings with ditches round them – were erected on Orkney. Then the ideas spread to the rest of the Neolithic Britain. This was the font for new thinking at the time.
Excavations have revealed several buildings, both ritual and domestic and the works suggest there are likely to be more in the vicinity. Pottery, cremated animal bones, stone tools and polished stone mace heads have also been discovered. Some of the stone slabs are decorated with geometrical lozenges typical of other Neolithic sites.
There are the remains of a large stone wall (the "Great Wall of Brodgar") which may have been 100 metres (330 ft) long and 4 metres (13 ft) or more wide. It appears to traverse the entire peninsula the site is on and may have been a symbolic barrier between the ritual landscape of the Ring and the mundane world around it.
The temple-like structure, which was discovered in 2008, has walls 4 metres (13 ft) thick and the shape and size of the building are visible, with the walls still standing to a height of more 1 metre (3.3 ft). The structure is 25 metres (82 ft) long and 20 metres (66 ft) wide and a standing stone with a hole shaped like an hourglass was incorporated into the walls. There is a cross-shaped inner sanctum and the building was surrounded by a paved outer passage. The archaeological team believe it is the largest structure of its kind anywhere in the north of Britain and that it would have dominated the ritual landscape of the peninsula. Recent finds include Skaill knives and hammer stones and another, perhaps even bigger wall. The dig involves archaeologists from Orkney College and from the universities of Aberdeen, Cardiff and Glasgow.
In July 2010 a remarkable rock coloured red, orange and yellow was unearthed. This is the first discovery in Britain of evidence that Neolithic peoples used paint to decorate their buildings and is similarly coloured to the natural shades of sandstone used in the construction of the inner sanctum. It is thought that the primitive paint could have been made from iron ore, mixed with animal fat, milk or eggs. Only a week later a stone with a zigzag chevron pattern painted with a red pigment was discovered nearby.
A baked clay artefact known as the "Brodgar Boy", and thought to be a figurine with a head, body and two eyes, was also unearthed in the rubble of one structure. It was found in two sections, the smallest of which measures 30mm, but is thought to be part of a still larger object
Originally posted by Wulfric
reply to post by jrmcleod
Are you sure this is older than Stonehenge? Recently Stonehenge has been found to be some 5000 years older than previously thought placing the date at around 7500BC.
news.discovery.com...edit on 26-4-2013 by Wulfric because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by Akragon
reply to post by jrmcleod
Yeh we Scots ave ben around since tha dawn of time!
Tis tha strong drink tha keeps us goin... Aye?
Good thread laddeh!
edit on 26-4-2013 by Akragon because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by jrmcleod
On a little Island on the boundry between the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea lies an archeological excavation that is re-writing british archeological history. The small set of islands called the Orkney Islands holds many secrets including Scarra Brae, but this recent discovery at the Ness of Brogdar, pre-dates even the pyramids of anchient Egypt.
It is believed that it has been occupied since 3500BC, that’s 5000 years ago. But where is the significance? Well the significance is that the people that built the Ness of Brogdar, also sent their knowledge south to the builders of Stonehenge. They built a settlement so advanced that it was the most complex of its kind anywhere else that has so far been discovered in Europe.
There are so many questions about why and how…
The land that has been surveyed and excavated so far has brought so many surprises that what they have discovered utterly eclipses anything else discovered in all of Europe. But why would people settle and build such amazing things on the Islands of Orkney? Why would they then take this advanced knowledge south to England?
Originally posted by Frogs
Also, if it is so remote - why build such a huge wall around it - who were they trying to keep out?
Originally posted by Atzil321
Why is there always a sense of one-upmanship with these old sites? The kind of nationalistic fervor that exists amongst contemporary archaeologists, historians and scholars 'particularly the welsh and scottish varieties' would likely seem alien to the people who built these things...