Way before Stonehenge or even the Egyptian pyramids were built, Sara Brae was a thriving village. Now let’s step back 5,000 years in time to explore the best-preserved Neolithic settlement in all of Western Europe.
A farmer on the island of Orkney in Scotland discovered a large stone that didn’t look like it belonged in its environment. When he flipped the stone over, he got the surprise of a lifetime.
Underneath the stone was Skara Brae, which is a hidden and lost city that existed as much as 5,000 years ago. At first glance, the farmer thought it was a house because it looked rather small to be a city. However, after showing people what he had found, the farmer soon realized that it was the lost city after all.
Orkney as an island has a very long history. It’s actually one of the oldest British settlements ever to exist. Historians believe that Skara Brae was an active city more than 5,000 years ago. If this is true, then it makes the city older than Stonehenge the Egyptian pyramids.
Most of the city was covered with sand dunes over the years, and thus it was preserved well for thousands of years.
When the city was active, it had around 50 to 100 people in it. That may not seem like a lot, but for a city back in that time, this is huge.
The inhabitants of Skara Blue were makers and users of grooved ware, a distinctive style of pottery that had recently appeared in northern Scotland.
The houses used earth for sheltering, being sunk into the ground. They were sunk into mounds of pre-existing prehistoric domestic waste known as middens.
This provided and allowed the houses to be stable and also insulated against Orkney’s harsh winter climate. The average house measures 430 square feet with a large room for containing a stone heart used for cooking and heating.
Given the number of homes, experts believe the number of inhabitants in the city were between 50 and 100.
The center of each home contained a waterproof basin that could have been possibly used to catch fish or for eating.
What are your thoughts America? Thanks to our friends at The Mind Circle for contributing to this article.