Skara brae

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  • Publicado : 18 de diciembre de 2011
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Pablo Grassi
Anglo saxon cultura
Introduction

Skara Brae is one of the most ancient and best preserved archaeological sites of Europe - a Neolithic village, hidden from history for 4000 years. It would probably have stayed undiscovered but for a fierce storm that swept the Orkneys in 1850, dislodging much of the coastline on the west coast and revealing a village under the sanddunes.

Location.

It is located on the Bay of Skaill on the west coast of Mainland, Orkney, Scotland
Here is a picture of it.
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History.
This village was occupied around 3100 B.C. This would have been before the times of the Great Pyramids or the building of Stonehenge. The people who lived here appeared to be quite advanced, however. The dig uncovered several houses and various otherbuildings. The houses were spacious and connected by covered passages. They were also built to ensure stability by embedding them, up to the roofs, in the midden. The walls, fittings and furniture were made of Orkney flagstone, which is found locally. Some of the furniture that was found included cupboards, dressers, seats, storage boxes and beds.

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In this roofless village, the earliesthouses were given a circular shape and contained one main room with a central hearth and beds at the side walls. The significance of the hearth can be understood from the fact that winter here was always dark and long. Made from stone kerbs, this square hearth not only gave warmth, but also was used to lit the home and cook food. Just opposite to the entrance, a sloped stone dresser standsreflecting a Stone Age furniture, the representative of Skara Brae. the later houses followed the same basic design, but on a larger scale. The house shape changed slightly, becoming more rectangular with rounded internal corners. Also, the beds were no longer built into the wall but protruded into the main living area.

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Some of the homes included under-floor drainage for sanitation. A verysurprising point because we are talking of Neolithic settlement. The layout of the furniture was similar in several houses. The dressers were opposite the door, larger beds were to the right of the doors and smaller beds were to the left. The similarity indicates that no one person was more important than any one else.
Each dwelling was reachable via a low doorway that could be secured via a bar tobe put into holes. Despite its occupancy for seven generations, it has been found that Skara Brae never expanded beyond 8 to 10 structures that were apt to house up to 50 to 100 villagers simultaneously. These houses were erected into the mounds of already available rubbish called midden that offered some amount of stability and acted as an insulator against the Orkney’s climate.
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Each ofthese houses were in reality very spacious. It is believed that life within was warm and relaxed with the beds holding the straw or heather mattresses. How we can see all the houses here are roofless. As nothing could be found about it, it has been assumed that these roofs were made from an organic, perishable item.
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Skara Brae's inhabitants were apparently makers and users ofgrooved ware, a distinctive style of pottery that appeared in northern Scotland not long before the establishment of the village

The people who lived in this village probably lived well. This is evidenced by the jewelry that was found made of bone, ivory and pumice. They were also farmers that kept cattle, sheep and pigs and grew barley. The sea would have provided the inhabitants with cod,saithe, lobster, crab, cockles and mussels. Red deer and boar were also hunted for their skins, meat and bones.
The bones of these animals were used to make other tools, beside those made of flint. Bones were made into needles, [pins, knives, shovels, adzes and picks, with the sharp edges provided by the flint. Some of the tools found would have been used to make leather clothing. It is doubtful...
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