Orkney is an archipelago located in the Northern Isles of Scotland. Only 20 out of approximately 70 of its islands are inhabited. Orkney is rich in prehistoric archaeological records. Orkney used to be inhabited by tribes of people. It contains the “Heart of Neolithic Orkney” which is listed in UNESCO world heritage site and as a whole approximately 3000 Neolithic sites have be found till now. The site consists of four sites: Maeshowe, Standing stones of Stenness, Ring of Brodgar and Skara Brae (http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/index/heritage/worldheritage/world-heritage-sites-in-scotland/neolithic-orkney.htm) . Ness of Brodgar, which is not listed on the UNESCO world heritage, is also another important site and possibly of religious importance at the Neolithic period as evident from the ceremonial complex and about 300 cattle bones discovered (possibly sacrificed).
The houses, monuments, potteries, weapons and wall arts are important as it enables us to picture how their lifestyle was 5000 years ago. Tombs containing both human and animal skeletal remains have also been excavated example the tomb of eagles and the tomb of the otters. Approximately 16000 and 3000 human skeletons were collected from the tomb of eagles and the tomb of the otters (Creation research society and Banks chambered tomb) . The bones are also of importance as it can tell when the person died, if it was because of pathological reason or violence. From the bones we can estimate their age, sex, diet, his/her identity etc. How tombs and chambers were used for burial of the dead shows the importance of the living and the dead even at that period of time.
I will try to focus more on the skeletal remains found in the tomb of the otters and look for possible links to the Neolithic period’s culture and lifestyle.