|Publication Date||July 28, 1999|
Examines the monuments of prehistoric Orkney, spanning a period from the earliest farmers, around 4000 BC, to the Viking onslaught, about AD 800. The quality of the building stone has helped to ensure the survival of these monuments, including: the Neolithic settlements of Skara Brae and Knap of Howar; the early chambered tombs at Midhowe, Maes Howe, Quoyness and Isbister; the stone circle of Stenness; the Ring of Brodgar; and the later brochs at Midhowe and Gurness. Dr Ritchie interprets the findings of the various excavations, showing what the monuments reveal about the way of life in prehistoric Orkney. She uncovers details of the dwellings and everyday life of the early Orcadians; looks at the rituals of life and death; shows the use of art in the settlements and tombs; and discusses the tribal organization involved in both building and ceremonies.