New archaeological discoveries on Orkney could change everything known about early man in Britain. The island's wealth of sophisticated Neolithic sites have long been recognised as being of world significance. The Heart of Orkney UNESCO World Heritage Site includes:
- The Ring of Brodgar - a perfect circle of standing stones that is among the largest in the world
- The Standing Stones of Stenness - another mysterious alignment of gigantic standing stones
- Maes Howe - a Neolithic chambered burial mound
- Skara Brae - a settlement of several small domestic dwellings
All of it is older than Stonehenge - and the Pyramids, and all pretty impressive.
Now, on a spit of land known as the Ness of Brodgar, between the Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness, scientists are uncovering an enormous and mysterious ritual complex, 5,000 years old and bigger than anything as yet discovered in the world. Within a site enclosed by thick walls, they've so far uncovered three large chambered structures and 14 buildings in all.
If you're quick, you can see for yourself. There are daily tours of the dig until August 22.
© Liam White 2007