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Skara Brae


(Skeroo Brae)

A site with the remains of a Neolithic Settlement, Skara Brae (or Skeroo Brae) lies on the western coastline of the Orkney Mainland, 4 miles (6.5 km) west southwest of Dounby. In 1850 a severe storm stripped the grass from a high dune on the southern shore of the Bay of Skaill to reveal the ruins of ancient dwellings buried to the tops of surviving walls in a huge heap of refuse comprising ash, shells and broken bones. Once the site had been excavated, it was recognised as the best preserved prehistoric village in northern Europe. The remains consist of a cluster of six self contained houses and a workshop, connected by passage ways. It is suggested that the site was occupied during two periods between 3100 and 2500 BC. Skara Brae is now recognised as part of the Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site, which was designated in 1999, and is managed by Historic Environment Scotland.


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