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Publication Account

Date 1996

Event ID 1016339

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Publication Account


Only the lowest courses of these remarkable houses have survived, partly the result of centuries of ploughing and partly because they appear to have been deliberately demolished at the end of their useful life, but the excavated remains have been rebuilt and visitors are able to walk through them (see p.00). Despite the fact that only the base of each house can be seen, the similarity to the better preserved houses at Skara Brae is striking. There are the same central kerbed hearths, bed alcoves and dressers, and drains run from the settlement into the loch. Two of the houses are far more elaborate than those at Skara Brae, perhaps implying a social or ritual hierarchy. Barnhouse and the Stones of Stenness were in use at the same time, and the stone circle and henge may well have been built and serviced by the people living beside the loch. Only part of the settlement has been excavated, and it was clearly both substantial and long-lived.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Orkney’, (1996).

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