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Prehistoric Sites in Scotland

By: Cityseeker
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Prehistoric sites in Scotland are among the top attractions in the country. Visiting the vestiges of ancient settlements will help you learn more about our ancestors and the way they lived. This collection features some must-visit prehistoric sites in Scotland.


Skara Brae

Perched on the edge of the windswept Bay o' Skaill, Skara Brae is one of several stunning archaeological sites within the heart of Neolithic Orkney UNESCO World Heritage Site. This Neolithic village in Orkney’s west mainland provides a one-of-a-kind insight into how the remote ancestors of Scotland actually lived. Discovered in 1850 when a huge storm blew away the surface sand to reveal the remains of the village beneath, Skara Brae is the one site which provides rich evidence about the life of Scottish ancestors. A vivid telling of the realities of a prehistoric village, the ancient homes are fitted with stone beds, dressers and seats that have survived the onslaught of time.

Stromness, United Kingdom
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Standing Stones of Stenness

Once made up of 12 megaliths, the Standing Stones of Stenness now comprises of four stones laid around in an eclipse. Located by the south-eastern shore of the Loch of Stenness, these stones are believed to a part of a line of standing stones linking the Stones of Stenness with the nearby Ring of Brodgar. Also it is said that the site was once known as the Temple of the Moon.

Stenness, United Kingdom
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Broch of Gurness

There are over 500 brochs in Scotland and without a doubt the broch village at Gurness is one of the most impressive one. A testament to the rich archaeological heritage of Orkney, the broch is an excellent example of an Iron Age settlement that has attracted archaeologists and tourists from all over the world. With brilliant architecture and rich history, the remains of the settlement surrounding the broch offer a wonderful glimpse into ancient Pictish life. The view from here is exceptionally pretty as it’s close to the edge of a small shoreline cliff, it overlooks Eynhallow Sound.

Highlands & Islands, United Kingdom
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St Kilda

St Kilda is one of one of the most secluded regions of the British Isles, located in the North Atlantic Ocean, about 64 kilometers (40 miles) off the coast. The area is of great historic importance as it housed an isolated community that dates back to several hundred years. In fact, researchers have even found some rare Viking burials on this site. The islanders who lived here formed a democractic community, and a led life that was mainly supported by the marine wealth and fauna that are endemic to St Kilda, these include exotic and rare birds like fulmars, Atlantic puffins and gannet, to name a few. Most of that community is now gone, many of them moved to Australia, and what now remains are the buildings and structures that date back to 1830s. The marvelous lives of St Kildans has, since its discovery, inspired many literary works, including Michael Powell's The Edge of the World. Owing to its interesting history, unique location and distinctive biodiversity, St Kilda was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.

Hirta, United Kingdom
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Standing Stones of Callanish

When excavation began in 1875 the menhirs were covered by a roughly 1.5 m thick layer of peat. The granite steles, some of them almost 5 m high, are mainly arranged in stone circles. The significance and purpose is, as with other stone circles, a matter for speculation. About 20 stone layouts are suspected in the neighbourhood, more than half have already been found. What is special is the completeness of the layout: all 13 stones of Callanish I have been preserved.

Callanish, United Kingdom
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