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Ring of Brodgar

Orkney Category Historic Sites
Ring of Brodgar image

If one iconic site has come to represent Orkney's ancient heritage, it must surely be the Ring of Brodgar.

Part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site, the Ring of Brodgar is found in the West Mainland parish of Stenness. It stands on an eastward-sloping plateau on the Ness of Brodgar a thin strip of land separating the Harray and Stenness lochs.

Because the interior of the Ring of Brodgar has never been fully excavated, or scientifically dated, the monument's actual age remains uncertain. However, it is generally assumed to have been erected between 2500 BC and 2000 BC, and was, therefore, the last of the great Neolithic monuments built on the Ness.

The stone circle is practically in the centre of a massive natural cauldron formed by the hills of the surrounding landscape. Today, the site is accentuated by the water of the lochs, but that was not always the case. In fact, when the ring was erected, between 2500BC and 200BC, the Stenness loch didn't exist. Instead the area was wet, marshy bog, surrounding pools of water or lochans.

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