The Orkney archipelago is home to a remarkable array of prehistoric sites – most notably the Ring of Brodgar, the Stones of Stenness, the passage grave of Maeshowe and the village of Skara Brae – evidence of a dynamic Late Neolithic society with connections binding Orkney to Ireland, to southern Britain and to the western margins of Continental Europe.
Despite 150 years of archaeological investigation, however, there is much that we do not know about the societies that created these sites. What historical background did they emerge from? What social and political interests did their monuments serve? And what was the nature of the connections between Neolithic societies in Orkney and elsewhere?
Following a broadly chronological narrative, and highlighting different lines of evidence as they unfold, Mark Edmonds traces the development of the Orcadian Neolithic from its beginnings in the early 4th millennium through to the end of the period nearly two thousand years later. Combining accessible text and high-quality images, he uses artefacts, architecture and the wider landscape to recreate the lives of Neolithic communities across the region.
A lyrical account of the prehistory and archaeology of the Orkney archipelago, and a uniquely appealing fusion of archaeological, historical and topographic writing, rooted in knowledge of and deep affection for one of the most ancient and distinctive landscapes in the British Isles.