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

Boris Nemtsov, Putin Foe, Is Shot Dead in Shadow of Kremlin - A Staged Shooting?
2015-02-28 22:37
NY Times: Boris Nemtsov, Putin Foe, Is Shot Dead in Shadow of Kremlin Mr. Nemtsov, a former first deputy prime minister of Russia, was killed in central Moscow in the highest-profile assassination in Russia during the tenure of President Vladimir V. Putin. A Staged Shooting? ... Why does the dead body of fitness enthusiast Boris Nemtsov have a pot belly? The Anti-New York Times doesn't ...
Holocaust, Hate Speech and Were the Germans so Stupid?
2015-02-28 20:31
Description form YouTube: This is an updated version of the video which was taken down by YouTube following a spurious copyright-infringement claim. It addresses issues regarding claims that Zyklon B in liquid form gives off fumes at temperatures below 0º C. As the world approaches the brink of a new Middle East crisis this time involving Syria, clearly at the behind-the-scenes ...
The Jewish Roots of Leonard Nimoy and What the ‘Live Long and Prosper’ Hand Symbol Really Means
2015-02-28 0:20
Leonard Nimoy first saw what became the famous Vulcan salute, “live long and prosper,” as a child, long before “Star Trek” even existed. The placement of the hands comes from a childhood memory, of an Orthodox Jewish synagogue service in Boston. The man who would play Spock saw the gesture as part of a blessing, and it never left him. “Something ...
Baby born still INSIDE his amniotic sac is hailed a ‘medical miracle’ by doctors [Video]
2015-02-27 22:46
What an incredible miracle… Not only was the little boy three months early – he was born inside his amniotic sac. I’ve never heard of this happening before. If you look at the picture, you can see him clearly with his little arms and legs curled up. He was still being given oxygen by his mom until the sac was ...
California Infant Dies after 8 Vaccines, Family Gets Him Back from Hospital Cremated
2015-02-27 21:55
Parents in California are distraught after losing their infant son after being vaccinated. He died in his sleep and was taken to the hospital already deceased. Hospital staff ruled his death as sudden infant death syndrome. The couple was told an autopsy was required to be performed on their son. After returning home, waiting to get an update, they never received ...
More News »