Category: Neolithic

The City and the Stars (5) : ‘Structure 10’ Pyramid

The more the Orkney archeologists uncover, the more it is certain that the settlement on the Ness of Brodgar was the hub of a dynamically influential and spiritual society, 5000 years ago… For example, what’s this pyramid…. yes, that’s right, pyramid? (1700 words, a fifteen-minute read) (Above: Illustration of Structure 10 by Kenny Arne Lang Antonsen and Jimmy John Antonsen) That can’t be right, … Read More The City and the Stars (5) : ‘Structure 10’ Pyramid

The City and the Stars (4) : The Ring of Brodgar

You look at the landscape around you… This magnificent place, where the natural features are as spectacular as the Neolithic discoveries, lies between two lochs surrounded by a natural amphitheatre. You are encircled on all sides by the hills and the monuments that make up the heart of Orkney’s Neolithic World Heritage Site. Welcome to the Ring of Brodgar, in the valley of the … Read More The City and the Stars (4) : The Ring of Brodgar

The City and the Stars (3) : The City on the Ness

A ten-minute journey from Stromness, on Orkney, lies an ‘isthmus’ which recent excavations have shown to contain one of the richest archeological concentrations in the world… It is nothing less than an ancient spiritual city, lost to time until the early years of this century. (1200 words, a ten-minute read) An ‘isthmus’ is defined as ‘a narrow strip of land with sea on either … Read More The City and the Stars (3) : The City on the Ness

The City and the Stars (2) : The Houses of Skara Brae

Skara Brae’s modern story began in 1850 when a violent sea-storm tore off the layers of grass, sand and soil that had covered what appeared to be two ancient and completely intact Neolithic houses. For 4,000 years, they had been lost to history, having been mysteriously abandoned. (1000 words, a ten-minute read) The local landowner at the time was William Watt, who lived at … Read More The City and the Stars (2) : The Houses of Skara Brae

The City and the Stars (1)

With the Pictish Trail weekend a long car journey and a boat ride behind us, we had awakened in Stromness to the early morning of an overcast Orkney day – The excavated and intact Neolithic village of Skara Brae was a few short miles away… (1300 words, a ten-minute read) We had not expected to be here at all. Visiting Orkney for the second … Read More The City and the Stars (1)

Three Days of the Oyster-Catcher (Part 7, Final) – Face to Face with Macbeth

We were standing in the car park near Drumin Castle. Dean was using the visitor map of the Glenlivet Estate to describe the day ahead. We were to begin by exploring an ancient and little visited stone circle on the nearby slope above the river Livet – The Doune of Dalmore. After this we would cross the river to the nearby ruin of Drumin … Read More Three Days of the Oyster-Catcher (Part 7, Final) – Face to Face with Macbeth

Three Days of the Oyster-Catcher (Part 6) Beyond the Blasted Heath

We were all tired; it had been a wonderful day, and the weather had been kind – which is not always assured in Scotland… The brain tends to switch off, which is no bad thing when you are in a ‘holding’ group and the whole idea is to engage a different (deeper, gentler, non-analytical) layer of consciousness. The path was very straight and shaded … Read More Three Days of the Oyster-Catcher (Part 6) Beyond the Blasted Heath

Three Days of the Oyster-Catcher (Part 5) Stone in the Sky

You can’t miss Sueno’s stone. It sits on its own plateau, just off the old main road between Findhorn and Forres; now bypassed. You see its ‘hangar’ first, then realise that this glass and steel monolith contains something special… Sueno’s stone was thought to be named after Swenson Forkbeard, but this is disputed. There is also a folk-link to King Duffus, whose castle we … Read More Three Days of the Oyster-Catcher (Part 5) Stone in the Sky

+

Three Days of the Oyster-Catcher (Part 4) Sea and Stone

I didn’t want to leave Burghead, not even for Findhorn; a place I’d wanted to visit for a long time. Burghead had filled me (many of us, I think) with a sense of ancient mystery and that dreadful knowledge that the centre of the Pict civilisation had likely perished in the Viking raids of the 9th century, when the ‘fort’ was sacked and burned. … Read More Three Days of the Oyster-Catcher (Part 4) Sea and Stone

+

Three Days of the Oyster-Catcher (Part 3) Headland of the Picts

The Moray Firth is vast, wild and beautiful. Examined on a map it resembles a child’s geometry exercise in triangles, with the coast between its ‘origin’ at Inverness and far-away Fraserburgh being a virtually flat west-east baseline. From Fraserburgh the great inlet of the Moray Firth reaches northwards into the North Sea. The final line in the triangle, from Inverness moving north-east, ends at … Read More Three Days of the Oyster-Catcher (Part 3) Headland of the Picts

Three Days of the Oyster-Catcher (2) Coast and Castle

There has to be a dawn… I’m not being flippant. Our Silent Eye ‘spirituality in the landscape’ weekends always have at least one early morning event during which we gather somewhere beautiful and greet the dawn. It’s a joy and also a discipline: something that tells our inner self that ‘we mean it’. Sometimes we might read poetry or even enact something from esoteric … Read More Three Days of the Oyster-Catcher (2) Coast and Castle

Three Days of the Oyster-Catcher (1)

We were standing close to the River Spey in the grounds of Strathallan church a few miles from the centre of Grantown-on-Spey: one of the gems of the north-eastern highlands of Scotland. The previous hour had seen us all meet at a tea room in the centre of the town. We discussed the plans for the weekend, drank tea and had cake… Strathallan church … Read More Three Days of the Oyster-Catcher (1)

%d bloggers like this: