Archaeologists discover ’finest ever’ piece of Neolithic art that was part of vast temple complex built in 3,500BC
2013-08-04 0:00

From: dailymail.co.uk

Archaeologists have found an astonishing piece of Neolithic artwork that was buried for 4,500 years.

The stone creation - which is decorated on both sides and has been described as one of the ‘finest ever’ to be found in Britain - was uncovered last night on the Ness of Brodgar in Orkney, Scotland.

It was found at the base of the south-west internal corner of the Neolithic ‘cathedral’ at the site, which covers 2.5 hectares and is believed to have been occupied from as early as 3,500BC.


Impressive: The stone art work - which is decorated on both sides and has been described as one of the ’finest ever’ to be found in Britain - was uncovered last night on the Ness of Brodgar in Orkney, Scotland



Ancient: The other side of the stone, whch was found at the base of the south-west internal corner of the Neolithic ’cathedral’ at the site, which covers 2.5 hectares and is believed to have been occupied from 3500BC


Neolithic man built a vast temple complex at the Ness of Brodgar, with some parts constructed more than 5,000 years ago, even before the Ancient Egyptians had started building the pyramids.

Excavations began in 2003 at the site, which has provided evidence of housing, decorated stone slabs, a massive stone wall with foundations, and a large building described as a Neolithic cathedral.

Once protected by two giant walls, each more than 330ft long and 13ft high, the complex at the Ness of Brodgar contained more than a dozen large temples, with one measuring almost 270 sq ft.

They were linked to outhouses and kitchens by carefully constructed stone pavements. The bones of sacrificed cattle, elegantly made pottery and pieces of painted ceramics lie scattered there.


Excavation: Neolithic man built a vast temple complex at the Ness of Brodgar, with some parts constructed more than 5,000 years ago, even before the Ancient Egyptians had started building the pyramids



Digging: Excavations began in 2003 at the site, which has provided evidence of housing, decorated stone slabs, a massive stone wall with foundations, and a large building described as a Neolithic cathedral


But the exact purpose of the complex is a mystery. The stone has been described as better than previous examples of Neolithic artwork found at Skara Brae and Maeshowe in the 1970s and 1980s.

An online diary kept by archeologists at the site said today: ‘[This is] perhaps the finest piece of art we have recovered from the site, and one of the finest from the UK ever, amazing and awe inspiring.

‘As we slowed to draw breath at the beauty of the revealed panel, a cry went up that an equally impressive design was apparent on one of the other sides of this large triangular block of stone.

‘Although the basis of the designs of interconnecting triangles can be loosely paralleled on a slab discovered at Skara Brae in the 1970s, a lightly inscribed stone in Maeshowe discovered by Patrick Ashmore in the 1980s and some Irish art.

’This is a much finer and more complex piece of art.

‘Many of the triangles are filled with cross-hatching and other designs. An initial wash has also revealed a finely incised chevron design and small cup marks.’

Neolithic: UK’s First Farmers

The people of the Neolithic, the new Stone Age, were the first farmers in Britain, and they arrived on Orkney about 6,000 years ago.

They cultivated the land, built farmsteads and rapidly established a vibrant culture, erecting giant stone circles, chambered communal tombs, and a giant complex of buildings.

As recently as May 2012 it was discovered that they were responsible for inventing raving.

In gatherings equivalent to the Glastonbury Festival, the men of the age would spend several days eating, drinking and dancing.

Herds of cattle were slaughtered to provide food and dancing would continue late into the night during the summer months.

Source: dailymail.co.uk



Related Articles
Neolithic discovery: Why Orkney is the centre of ancient Britain
Stone Age Temple in Orkney 800 years older than Stonehenge
Rising seas "clue" in sunken world off Orkney
Megalithic pint, anyone?
BRYN CELLI DDU: The Welsh Stonehenge
"Britain’s Atlantis" found at bottom of North sea - a huge undersea world
A Lost World? Atlantis-Like Landscape Discovered
6,000-year-old ’Halls of the Dead’ unearthed in England
The Lost Deities of the Neolithic


Latest News from our Front Page

60 Years of Research Links Gluten Grains to Schizophrenia
2015-03-31 1:05
Does the consumption of gluten-containing grains contribute to psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia? Believe it or not, this question has been asked for well over 60 years by researchers who stumbled upon evidence that the removal of gluten from the diet results in improved symptoms, or conversely, that gluten grain consumption leads to higher prevalence of both neurological and psychiatric problems. Reports ...
A Sour Deception: Citric Acid Comes From GMO Black Mold, Not Fruit
2015-03-30 23:32
Just what is your food made of, anyway? Try industrial synthesis, genetically modified mold secretions, hydrochloric acid, mercury-contaminated caustic soda, ferrocyanide… and, of course, lots of GMO corn. If common ingredients like “citric acid” and “ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)” sound normal and familiar enough that you practically conjure up an image of the flourishing orchard they were grown in – then ...
Thousands of migrants dumped on Britain as French wriggle out of border promise
2015-03-30 19:56
Thousands of migrants could be dumped on Britain’s doorstep if France tears up a historic border agreement, it was claimed last night. Officials have vowed to do “everything in their power” to wriggle out of a treaty moving the UK border to Calais. The besieged town’s mayor Natacha Bouchart is prepared to spark a major diplomatic row by opening the frontier ...
Richard III laid to rest at Leicester Cathedral
2015-03-30 18:36
King Richard III was today laid to rest at Leicester Cathedral - more than 500 years after his death in battle. The monarch, who reigned from 1483 to 1485, was the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. Actor Benedict Cumberbatch read a poem by Carol Ann Duffy during the service. Also in attendance was Robert Lindsay, who played Richard III in a version ...
Sweden - A new paradise for Romani beggars
2015-03-30 17:33
Thanks to the European Union and freedom of movement that follows with membership Sweden has been flooded with gypsies from Eastern Europe. Most member states have cracked down hard on the phenomenon of organized begging with legislation and forceful evictions so the Romani (colloquially known as Gypsies) who are engaged in this venture have moved their business to the country where ...
More News »