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Festival Archaeology

Neolithic Festival

Festival Archaeology

Shinbones are the decorations, marrow is the meal and cattle cries are the soundtrack for this final feast. Why do we disregard certain moments in time and revel in others?

The first farming communities left traces of their monumental architecture – massive stone-built tombs – across Scotland. The ongoing excavations at the Ness of Brodgar in Orkney are rewriting our understandings of this period, revealing a picture of a vibrant, culturally-rich society.

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Orkney Venus

The earliest depiction of the human form was found by archaeologists while excavating a Neolithic House on the island of Westray in Orkney.


Cattle Skull

We know from the excavation of sites like the Ness of Brodgar and Links of Noltland that cattle were important – both as a source of food, but also as a source of cultural inspiration. The house at Links of Noltland, for example, had a foundation lined with cattle jaws.


Passage Tomb

The early farming communities in Scotland built tomb-like structures that you could access through a passage. These were then filled with the bones of the dead.


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