Stone Age temple found in Orkney may be more significant than Stonehenge

There are 5 comments on the Daily Mail story from Jan 2, 2012, titled Stone Age temple found in Orkney may be more significant than Stonehenge. In it, Daily Mail reports that:

'Discovery of a lifetime': Stone Age temple found in Orkney is 800 years older than Stonehenge - and may be more important The site, known as the Ness of Brodgar, was investigated by BBC2 documentary A History of Ancient Britain, with presenter Neil Oliver describing it as 'the discovery of a lifetime'. So far the remains of 14 Stone Age buildings ... (more)

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Casey Goranson

Toronto, Canada

#1 Jan 2, 2012
To assume this to be a temple complex based solely on the nearby presence of other religious structures and of painting at one location - such an inference seems faulty. Could this not be a settlement, with temples nearby?
Think - if you have a duty to honour certain deities, then is it not far more practical to erect shrines to them nearby, or to live close to a collection of shrines, than to have to trek through hills, rills, moors, mires, and brambly braes on a regular basis to a faraway site?
Arne Bledsoe

Old Lyme, CT

#2 Jan 2, 2012
Well reasoned, Casey. And insightful. You know, your suggestion that this could "be a settlement, with temples nearby," resonates with me. Why? Because you obviously have your head wedged so far up the non-English-speaking end of your
alimentary canal you can hardly breathe. Or think. But thanks for sharing your utterly so-whatty conclusions with the rest of us mouthbreathers. Ta Ta.
I eat dogs

Old Lyme, CT

#3 Jan 3, 2012
As you say -- "such an inference seems faulty." Indeed it does. Indeed it does.
Casey Goranson

Toronto, Canada

#4 Jan 30, 2012
Arne Bledsoe wrote:
Well reasoned, Casey. And insightful. You know, your suggestion that this could "be a settlement, with temples nearby," resonates with me. Why? Because you obviously have your head wedged so far up the non-English-speaking end of your
alimentary canal you can hardly breathe. Or think. But thanks for sharing your utterly so-whatty conclusions with the rest of us mouthbreathers. Ta Ta.
Thanks for the compliments, Arne, and for your (unfortunately misplaced) concern about my large intestine. I regret to inform you that my spine is not quite as flexible as you seem to think.
Wild Willie

London, UK

#5 Mar 12, 2013
Casey Goranson wrote:
To assume this to be a temple complex based solely on the nearby presence of other religious structures and of painting at one location - such an inference seems faulty. Could this not be a settlement, with temples nearby?
Think - if you have a duty to honour certain deities, then is it not far more practical to erect shrines to them nearby, or to live close to a collection of shrines, than to have to trek through hills, rills, moors, mires, and brambly braes on a regular basis to a faraway site?
Hopefully, all of you will have the opportunity to view the excellent BBC documentary about this site (or, better still, actually visit it). I'm fortunate in that I actually reside in Orkney, so this site, along with all the others nearby is 'on my doorstep'.
As with all prehistoric archaeology, at the end of the day the actual purpose of any site will always be open to conjecture, so all one can do is to carefully examine the site/object etc in context with others as well as location, alignment with existing astronomical observations etc.(eg sunrise/set) and any existing evidence of social activity (eg domestic pottery, burned bones and other midden contents etc)or as the title of one good book on the subject suggests rather tongue-in-cheek 'Archaeology is Rubbish'!
Much of this site still remains to be uncovered, but preliminary investigation over the area by the geophysics team and arial photography strongly suggests that the part of the stite that has so far been uncovered is only a small part of an even larger complex, of which what has been termed the 'Temple' appears to form the central focal point - at the moment!All fascinating stuff, but very expenseive to do so it may be many years before the truth may emerge of why this structure was built - and then apparently destroyed!

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