Wonders of Ancient Scotland
There are thousands of historic sites and attractions in Scotland. These include Neolithic Standing stones and Stone Circles, Bronze Age settlements, Iron Age Brochs and Crannogs, Pictish stones, Roman forts and camps, Viking settlements, Mediaeval castles, and early Christian settlements. Scotland also played an important role in the development of the modern world, and there are many industrial heritage sites and museums. A few of the best known Neolithic sites are listed below:
* Callanish, Lewis
* Skara Brae, Orkney
* Broch, Mousa
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Ness of Brodgar - Neolithic wonders of OrkneyClick thumbnail to view full-size
Ness of Brodgar Video
The Callanish Stones - Spectacular Megaliths on the Isle of Lewis
The village of Skara Brae lay hidden under grass and soil until 1850, when in the winter of that year a major storm stripped the grass from a large mound known as Skerrabra (or Skeroo Brae).
The outline of several stone buildings was revealed and initial excavations were undertaken by William Watt, the laird of Skaill. By 1868, four buildings had been uncovered and "a very rich collection of objects had been deposited in Skaill house."The site then lay largely undisturbed until 1925, when another great storm breached the mound and damaged the previously exposed structures. The buildings were placed under the guardianship of the Commissioners of HM Office of Works, which built a seawall to protect the site. The distinguished archaeologist Vere Gordon Childe led the first professional archaeological investigation of the site between 1927 and 1930 consolidating the damaged structures and uncovering new ones. For the first time, the full extent and remarkable nature of the village was revealed. The seven stone buildings, linked by stone passageways, constituted a clustered village built out of flagstones that were naturally eroded by the ocean. These flags formed from easily worked Devonian Old Red Sandstone. Archeologists believe that these structures were originally roofed with timber and whalebone and enclosed by middens and thatching that completely covered the habitation. Timber was scarce in the area and was likely limited mostly to driftwood, but there was a large supply of flagstones from the nearby ocean already cut to rough size by the tides.
Skara Brae Video
The Broch at Mousa in the Shetland Islands - Incredibly intact due to its remote location.
Broch of Mousa is the finest preserved example of a broch or round tower in Shetland, Scotland. It is the tallest still standing in the world and amongst the best-preserved prehistoric buildings in Europe.It is thought to have been constructed circa 100 BC, one of 570 brochs built throughout Scotland. The site is managed by Historic Scotland.
It has one of the smallest overall diameters of any broch, as well as one of the thickest wall bases and smallest interiors; this massive construction (as well as its remote location) is likely to be the main explanation for its excellent state of preservation.
Located on the island of Mousa , it stands some 44 feet (13 m) high and is accessible via a single entrance at ground level. Once inside, a visitor may ascend an internal staircase to an open walkway at the top. It is the only broch which is complete right to the top, including the original intramural stair. It is built of dry stone with no mortar, thus any disturbance could cause a great deal of damage. The characteristic hollow-walled construction is very clear at this site.
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