Nestled under the foothills of the Bay o’ Skaill, in the West Mainland parish of Sandwick lies an ancient discovery, a completely preserved prehistoric village that gives us a unique glimpse into prehistoric life in Europe.
2. An Ancient Discovery
More ancient than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids of Giza, Skara Brae has been called the “Scottish Pompeii” because of its excellent preservation and incredible history.
3. The Storm of 1850
During the difficult winter of 1850, the Orkney Islands were hit hard with a devastating storm that resulted in more than 200 deaths.
4. Skara Brae
The combination of extreme wind and a surging tide stripped the grass from a large mound known as “Skerrabra”.
5. The Village
When the storm dissipated, locals were stunned to discover that underneath the sand lie stone pillars and agriculture.
6. The Excavation
The local laird, William Watt of Skaill, embarked on an excavation of the site and discovered the remains of four well-preserved stone houses. In 1868, work at Skerrabra was abandoned, but there was more hiding underneath the sand…
7. 5,000 Years Ago…
Archaeologists believe the site known as Skara Brae was inhabited by ancient Europeans around 3180 to 2500 B.C.
8. A Second Discovery
In 1925, another storm wrecked much of the excavated village known as Skara Brae. Archaeologists picked up where previous workers left off in the past and now eight remarkably well-preserved stone houses were unearthed.
14. The Museum
Artifacts such as gaming dice, tools, and jewelry have been excavated from the ancient village and are now on display for visitors to take a glimpse at how the hunters, fisherman, and families of this settlement lived.