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 The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands

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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Sun 24 Feb 2013, 11:08

New finds on Orkney

http://www.pasthorizons.tv/scottish-island-find-digs-up-new-info-on-neolithic-religion/

I'm not sure I agree with this fellow's conclusion though. Why do most finds have to have something to do with religion?
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Thu 18 Apr 2013, 14:01

A somewhat more recent religious site, the Italian Chapel;



http://www.visitorkney.com/italianchapel/
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Thu 18 Apr 2013, 14:15

And this is what they were working on, the Churchill Barriers;

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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Fri 19 Apr 2013, 14:52

The Neolithic mound at Maeshowe;



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maeshowe
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Fri 19 Apr 2013, 16:11

From his series The History of Britain, Simon Schama looks at Skara Brae;

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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Sat 20 Apr 2013, 15:06

In 2010 the Italian Church hosted members of the Cora Genzianella, from the small community of Tesero in the Dolomites. This is their rendition of Siam Prigionieri

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Tim of Aclea
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Sat 20 Apr 2013, 22:46

There is also on the Orkneys an excellent example of an above ground riveted petroleum storage tank, used to store fuel for the Royal Navy, which has since been turned into a museum.

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Vizzer
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Sun 21 Apr 2013, 11:54

I was hugely impressed with Orkney when I visited in 1995. After we had motored across the bleak landscape of Caithness and Sutherland to reach John o' Groats we understood why some people nickname it 'Waste o' Petrol'.

But the trip across to Orkney made it all worth while. It really was like travelling to another country. Chalk and cheese from the British mainland. The list of things to see and do was almost endless. From St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall to Scara Brae to the Rings of Brodger to Scapa Flow to the Churchill Barriers and the Italian Church etc. Even the second town Stromness was full of charm. I particularly remember an old building there which was the recruiting headquarters for the Hudson's Bay Company during its heyday.

The beautiful round whitesand bay at Skara Brae with its crystal clear water would be a jewel all in itself even without the Neolithic village. I would definitely recommend a trip to Orkney for anyone who hasn't been.
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Sun 21 Apr 2013, 12:05

The beach at Skara Brae - 2010.

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Vizzer
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Sun 21 Apr 2013, 12:45

Looks like the idiot element have found the Bay of Skaill since I was there in '95. Maybe I'll not recommend visitors after all. It'll only encourage them.
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Sun 21 Apr 2013, 15:50

How strange, I took the diametrically opposite view, I thought the wee circles were great. Just goes to show how differently we all see things.
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Mon 22 Apr 2013, 10:24

The German High Seas Fleet scuttled itself in Scapa Flow in June 1919. Most of the ships were salvaged and scrapped but a few are still there and are popular scuba dives;

http://www.scapaflowwrecks.com/
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Tue 23 Apr 2013, 11:02

Anyone else remember this from 1967?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00rzs81
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Fri 22 Apr 2016, 14:47

The sinking of the Royal Oak  by the German submarine U-47 on the night of the 13/14th  October 1939.
Websites about the two protagonists;
U-47

Royal Oak

Map showing U-47’s route into and out of Scapa Flow via  Kirk Sound past the blockships.



Kirk Sound today, Churchill Barrier number 1 runs between Orkney Mainland and Lamb Holm;

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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Wed 27 Apr 2016, 09:21

One of U-47's torpedoes was found and disposed off three weeks ago:

Scapa Flow Torpedo
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Fri 06 May 2016, 12:15

More reasons to visit Orkney;

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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Mon 09 May 2016, 12:49

The wreck of HMS Hampshire is to be surveyed;

HMS Hampshire
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Wed 15 Jun 2016, 11:27



This wee chap has turned up in a box in Stromness Museum after being thought lost in the 1930s. It was discovered in Scara Brae in the 1860s but its importance was not recognised and it joined a range of other artefacts in Scaill House. That collection was dispersed 60 odd years ago but this has languished in a box in storage ever since. I wonder what else is lying unloved in museum basements?


There is a 3d  rotatable image here:

https://sketchfab.com/models/91f10d63582849319a2b88e7c17699ef
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Thu 16 Jun 2016, 08:09

Did Dr David Clarke have a stab at explaining the purpose of the two holes in the narrow side? Or why we should dismiss what to me seems a suspiciously pareidolic interpretation of the drilled broad side?

It reminds me of the "whistling bullets" claim (also from Scotland incidentally - not far from yourself, ferval, at Burnswark Hill) in which local archaeologists made a rather startling claim regarding Roman "Shock and Awe" military tactics, however one that has yet to be supported by evidence from anywhere at all or from any period related to Roman history.

Whistling Bullets theory
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Thu 16 Jun 2016, 10:34

Having googled pareidolic , always happy to pick up  a new word even if probably unable to remember it these days, he says the holes on the side go right through and so it is suggested that it may have been suspended. It was in one of the beds in house 3, I'd like to know which one since there are some indications that the beds were 'gendered' in that the right hand one was larger than the left and so designated as being for the man. I don't need to expand on the implicit assumptions in that one.

I can't find anything other than press releases about this but I hope something better will appear in time. That makes four of these little figures that have turned up, the others in Links of Noltland.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Thu 16 Jun 2016, 21:01

I should have rotated it, I would have seen that. Still, why two holes I wonder?

But pareidolia aside, I am still worried when a definitive way of interpreting motifs is asserted by an archaeologist despite the sparse clues available, and especially when the assertion then finds its way not only into popular media but canon texts.

Maybe worth a thread in its own right, but the "whistling bullets" above is just one other example. Another that I remembered today, and which some googling reveals is still as "out there" as ever in terms of credible theory, is the so-called "moon map" found in the Knowth passage grave in County Meath, Ireland - of a very similar vintage to the little buddo from Orkney. This image below attempts to show how the scratches on the stone obviously represent the oldest known depiction of lunar topography (Leonardo's being the next newest). To me, having seen the stone in question, I'm not even sure that the graphic on the right itself isn't a rather sly piece of re-invention on the part of Dr Philip Stoke from Ontario, the man who ploughed through graphic images of artefacts the world over in the hunt for a lunar map from pre-history (and, surprise surprise, found one).

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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Tue 21 Jun 2016, 14:44

The Orkneys from the Carta Marina 1539:

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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Wed 22 Jun 2016, 15:03

Orkney and Shetland from the mid-17th century;

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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Sun 17 Jul 2016, 19:54

The first part of the 2016 season at Ness of Brodgar is well underway so here's the dig blog to keep anyone interested up to speed.

http://www.orkneyjar.com/archaeology/nessofbrodgar/
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Mon 18 Jul 2016, 10:09

"Pet" coprolites on South Ronaldsay;

Pet Coprolites
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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Mon 18 Jul 2016, 14:56

@Triceratops wrote:
More reasons to visit Orkney;

Spoof. "Papa Westray" does exist, but is unmarried.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-36210333
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Mon 18 Jul 2016, 21:28

Porks eat "everything" Gil...
It's therefore that I prefer beef from the cow...
One inch thick only one minute each side in overheated fat...and first wrapped with pepper...the water comes in the mouth...

Your bourgundian friend Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Fri 21 Oct 2016, 11:43

Vole bones at Skara Brae provide the earliest indication of rodent consumption in Europe;

Skara Brae Rodents
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Fri 21 Oct 2016, 11:56

When I read this it prompted me ask two questions.

One was 'Why the surprise'? Surely barbecued small mammal has been a tasty snack since man first pulled on the barbie apron, fired up the pit and opened the beer?

The second was, was Microtus arvalis orcadensis not a stowaway in grain cargoes but perhaps a deliberate import? Did herds of voles roam across the machair above Skaill Bay shepherded by neolithic voleboys?
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Fri 21 Oct 2016, 13:31

Oh please don't say that Orkney archaeology is going the way of the Stonehenge version ...
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Fri 21 Oct 2016, 14:31

@ferval wrote:

One was 'Why the surprise'? Surely barbecued small mammal has been a tasty snack since man first pulled on the barbie apron, fired up the pit and opened the beer?

Indeed ... only I don't think voles actually taste very nice. I'm sure I've read from a Ray Meers, survivalist-type person, that voles and also moles taste rather bitter. I believe that rodents that eat worms and insects do not genreally taste very nice at all although they are not poisonous as such, just very disagreeable. However most mice, rats and squirrels - perhaps because they are primarily grain/nut eaters - taste much better, yummy even. I can't entirely vouch for this, as I've never eaten vole or mole, but I have eaten squirrel, cane-rat and guinea pig, all of which were perfectly palatable if not delicious.

While I admit I'm not an expert on these matters, I can assure you that my cats certainly are. They frequently catch moles and voles but they never eat them, nor do they present them as presents for me. The sad, little un-nibbled bodies I find casually discarded around the garden. However the bodies of snakes, birds, mice and rats, I hardly ever find as they have been eaten entirely. Although maybe sometimes, if I've been very good, I do get presented with gifts, (always carefully arranged on the back doorstep) as a choice cut of a recent kill ... it's nearly always the hindquarters with tail (for rodents); a 2 inch chunk of lower back (for snakes); and a morsel of thigh (for birds).

And what do I do with these morsels, whether they are the entire bodies discarded around the garden, or the ritual feline offerings? Well I usually chuck them on the fire (I prefer not to just throw bits of animal into the bushes as it smells and encourages vermin). So inevitably my midden heap - amongst the tomato pips, banana skins, potato peelings, bones, mussel and walnut shells ... also inevitably contains some "cooked rodent bones". But I'll leave it for future archeologists to draw their own conclusions about that.


Last edited by Meles meles on Fri 21 Oct 2016, 16:02; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Fri 21 Oct 2016, 14:51

MM wrote:

...but I have eaten squirrel, cane-rat and guinea pig...


Oh, MM...


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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Fri 21 Oct 2016, 15:17

Mmm... cuy picante:

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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Fri 21 Oct 2016, 23:08

Are you sure you aren't confusing voles with shrews? They must taste appalling since cats usually choose to present them to members of their staff, rather than eat them themselves.
Incidentally, neither shrews nor moles are rodents - they belong to the former order Insectivora, (now some species have been moved out, leaving the remaining ones in the order Eulipotyphia)
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Sat 22 Oct 2016, 09:12

I was indeed confusing voles with shrews ... and yes it's the shrews the cats refuse to eat.
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Tue 06 Dec 2016, 15:11

This Iron Age Orcadian ate a diet rich in fish:

Broch burial
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands   Tue 06 Dec 2016, 22:10

@Triceratops wrote:
This Iron Age Orcadian ate a diet rich in fish:

Broch burial

 Thanks for the link Triceratops.

"
His diet also appears to have been unusually rich in fish.
Image copyright UHI Archaeology Institute Image caption  The human jaw bone and teeth found at The Cairns
Archaeologists said the isotopic values of his bone chemistry showed that he had consumed "a surprisingly high quantity of marine-derived protein", probably largely fish."

What modern archaeologists all can learn from a fossil...unbelievable...

Kind regards, Paul.
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The Ever Fascinating Orkney Islands

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