There was a great article posted over at the Guardian website on the weekend written by Robin Mckie, who travelled north to uncover the treasures on offer in Neolithic Orkney – which are estimated to have been formed before Egypt’s pyramids.
Throughout the article Robin highlights the cultural significance of the ancient sites in Orkney:
What is clear is that the cultural energy of the few thousand farming folk of Orkney dwarfed those of other civilisations at that time. In size and sophistication, the Ness of Brodgar is comparable with Stonehenge or the wonders of ancient Egypt.
London may be the cultural hub of Britain today, but 5,000 years ago, Orkney was the centre for innovation for the British isles. Ideas spread from this place. The first grooved pottery, which is so distinctive of the era, was made here, for example, and the first henges – stone rings with ditches round them – were erected on Orkney. Then the ideas spread to the rest of the Neolithic Britain. This was the font for new thinking at the time.