Welcome to Scotland where there is evidence of human occupation dating back about 10,000 years.
We work with guests to devise a customised itinerary.
To assist guests in determining priorities and focus, summary information on Scotland’s prehistory is provided below.
Stone Circles and Standing Stones
These are unique to Britain, Ireland and Brittany ( France). Scotland is well endowed with Aberdeenshire, Argyll, Perthshire and islands such as Arran, Lewis, Orkneys and Shetlands being particularly well populated. Prominent sites include:
We do not know for certain why the stone circles and related monuments were built but they may have had some religious function in connection with veneration of the dead. Bearing in mind that the builders had access to only stone technology, the transportation, shaping and erection of the stones would have required a major workforce relative to the small communities and suggest a high level of social organisation in those distant times.
This is associated with the stone circles era and mainly comprises rings of concentric circles pecked into hard rock. Good examples can be found at Achnabreck near Kilmartin and on the Isle of Arran near to Brodick. Again, we are left to ponder on the rationale for these carvings.
Crannogs are an ancient, timber built loch dwelling found throughout Scotland and Ireland. They were built out in water, just off the shores of lochs. Crannogs are considered to have been high status defensive homesteads dating back 5000 years with occupation continuing in some cases right up to the 17 th century AD. It is believed that each Crannog housed an extended family together with their valuable animals at a time when the country side was untamed and populated by now extinct wild animals such as wolves, bears and lynx. A reconstructed Crannog can be found on the shores of Loch Tay, near Kenmore where tours are provided and visitors are allowed to participate in experimental archaeology.
Maes Howe, Orkney
These tombs date from about 2500BC and represent the finest example of prehistoric architecture in north-west Europe and are characterised by a square or rectangular chamber approached by a passage. From the main chamber small openings lead into a number of cells arranged in a symmetrical pattern.
Brochs are found in a wide area over the island of Orkney, Shetlands, the Western Isles and the Scottish mainland in Highland Scotland. These comprise dry-stone-built towers 10 metres (33 feet) or more high and perhaps 25 metres (82 feet) in diameter. The walls are thick at the base and then taper towards the top in a conical fashion. The walls are usually built with a double skin, possibly for improved climate control. Within the walls are constructed stairways and chambers. Brochs date back to the first millennium BC. Here are relevant video clips:
The above narrative comprises a summary of what is available in Scotland covering a vast expanse of time for which no written records exist.
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