Age of Stone
Holywood South Cursus monument - Dumfries and Galloway
From the beginning of the Neolithic period communities built monuments which enclosed space on a scale never before seen in Scotland. Amongst the earliest and largest are cursus monuments, so-called because when first identified in the 18th century they were thought to be Roman chariot racing arenas. It was not until the 20th century that excavation and dating showed them to be of Neolithic date. So what are these strange named monuments?.
Stemster chambered cairn - Shean, Caithness
Caithness boasts one of the richest archaeological landscapes in Scotland. The countryside is littered with prehistoric remains, including numerous Neolithic tombs, commonly known as chambered cairns. These great mounds, made of stone and turf, have internal chambers and come in many shapes and sizes, including: round, oval, heel-shaped, ‘short horned’, long, rectangular, or ‘double horned’. Some are small and simple but others have multiple internal compartments and low, narrow passageway entrances. The flat nature of the available stone in Caithness provided Neolithic communities with the perfect building material to construct these spectacular, 5000 year old examples of architecture and engineering.