Bring your own stone

Catching up on my magazine reading today I came across an article in Current Archaeology about neolithic Britain and mentioning the Ring of Brodgar on Orkney. This is a large stone circle (see photo) which is part of a prehistoric landscape and thought to have been used for ceremonial purposes or other gatherings by the indigenous communities over 5000 years ago.

Orkney-023-Edit-2

At the end of the article there is reference to a piece in Antiquity1 that intrigued me. They suggest that as each of the individual stones in the ring are different and from different areas of the island it is possible that each stone was brought by an individual village or community. The idea of a village turning up with their stone as a contribution to the ring appeals to me. They also believe that after the breakdown of the communities people moved out of the area, even to the mainland, but still returned to the ceremonial sites on a regular basis for celebrations and possibly to meet a partner. This was described in some newspapers as a “neolithic nightclub”. My mind is boggling.

1 Bayliss, A., Marshall, P., Richards, C., Whittle, A., (2017) Islands of history: the Late Neolithic timescape of Orkney, Antiquity, Vol 91, 359, pp 1171-1188

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