Six Things to Know about the Heart of Neolithic Orkney

Ring of Brodgar

The Heart of Neolithic Orkney will “Glow in the ArchaeoDark” on World Heritage Day (18th April) with interactive storytelling, music and a host of other events.

The University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute are pleased to be teaming up with DigIt2017 for the World Heritage Day event in Orkney as part of the ‘Scotland in Six’ celebrations.

To set the scene here are 6 things you may or may not know about the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site:

  • It is the only place in the world where you can see a Neolithic settlement, a “temple precinct”, ceremonial standing stones and burial mounds within a few miles of each other.
  • The Watch Stone marked the meeting of the sea water of Loch of Stenness and the fresh water of the Loch of Harray in the Neolithic. Both lochs are brackish nowadays as they are now linked.
  • The Barnhouse Stone “leads” the winter sunset into Maeshowe
  • The Ring of Brodgar, Stones of Stenness, Barnhouse village, the Watch Stone and the Barnhouse Stone are still free to enter (in addition to the Ness of Brodgar in the excavation season. However public donations are important to keep research progressing at the Ness.)
  • Runes carved into Maeshowe proclaim that they were carved after the time of Ragnar Lothbrok – who is now starring in The Vikings TV series!
  • The Ring of Brodgar is still used as a gathering place for Orcadians – 5000 years after it was built. It is especially popular for weddings and other family events.

Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology

HHA2017 Logo2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories and unique experiences. Scotland’s rich heritage, captivating history and world-renowned archaeology will come to life through a range of new and exciting experiences and events aimed at locals and visitors alike.

From World Heritage sites to ancient monuments, world-class visitor attractions and cultural traditions, Scotland offers iconic experiences and hidden gems to visitors, all year round.

Scotland’s vast history, heritage and archaeology have a fascinating story to tell and there are countless secrets to uncover at ruins, ancient monuments and remarkable archaeological sites, as well as museums and galleries across Scotland.

Each area of Scotland has its own distinctive heritage and traditions that shape its environment, as well as the lifestyle and humour of its people today. Visitors can discover this for themselves through unique events and attractions in 2017.

We are connected not just by genetics, but by our traits, our beliefs and our spirit. You will find something of yourself in Scotland, as well as a warm and welcoming people.

Visit Scotland has announced a unique event line-up for 2017 themed year: Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. See our blog post for details of events across Scotland.

Thanks to Jim Richardson for permission to use the photograph.

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