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Orkney - the tombs of our ancestors - Philip and Sheila Morris

Continuing our Friday series on Orkney, we see some of the best preserved Neolithic tombs in Europe. The Orcadian landscape is dotted with archaeological sites, settlements and monuments which give us an insight into the lives of the people who first settled on these islands, cultivating the land and enjoying the fruits of the sea. We enter the tomb of Maeshowe, constructed 5000 years ago, aligned so that the sun illuminates the chamber during winter. Then we visit some other chambered tombs, including the 'Tomb of the Eagles' which we enter sliding in on a trolley.

This is quite amazing and that we can see and enter these chambers and even that after so many years artefacts and bones have been found. I wonder how our churchyards and cemeteries might look after the same number of years? The theories around the sea eagle sound as though it was likely the reason. How amazing too that the talons were polished and placed together inside. We are not really well used to the ideas of ossuaries in British culture but were popular in Europe and beyond and are sensible way of dealing with limited space.

Thanks Sheila and Philip for a lovely time out and giving us as usual so much to think and reflect upon.

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