Ness of Brodgar
Discovered little more than a decade ago, this mysterious temple complex is now believed to be the epicenter of what was once a vast ritualistic landscape. The site’s extraordinary planning, craftsmanship, and thousand-year history are helping rewrite our entire understanding of Neolithic Britain.
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During the Neolithic, water levels were still rising after the last ice age, so the shore was lined with bogs and marshlands.
and Earth Meet
Located in the center
of the site and the surrounding bowl of
land, this standing stone aligned with the spring and fall equinoxes and might have served as a symbolic axis between earth and sky.
Enclosed in Stone
Roughly 10 feet high and up to 18 feet wide, these are some of the largest prehistoric walls ever found in Britain.
Evidence suggests people didn’t live here year-round but visited periodically, perhaps to make offerings as part of a ritual procession through the site and its many buildings.
More Than Trash
Over 16 feet high, this midden pile is the biggest found in Neolithic Britain and may have had ceremonial functions involving fertility and cycles of life, death, decay, and renewal.
The Ness provides the first evidence in northern Europe of roofs made of carefully trimmed, rectangular stone slates. Recent finds also indicate some walls may have been decorated with natural pigments and colored stones.
evolved throughout its thousand-year period of use.