Tuesday, July 03, 2012
SAC: Skara Brae
There was just time before the tide was right for our departure north to see just one thing, and for me it had to be the prehistoric village of Skara Brae.
Between its visitor centre and the first house there was about a 5 minute walk. It was marked out in years so that it was if you were travelling back in time. Monuments like the Pantheon were passed and there was still a long way to go. Towards the end there are signs for Stonehenge and the pyramids of Giza, but Skara Brae is older than even them.
Dating back 5,000 years it is a complete village from Neolithic times, the best preserved in Europe.
They are built and decorated in stone. Slabs were made into beds, dressers, fireplaces, bait boxes, stores as if they'd been selecting from Ikea's stone range.
I tried to imagine what life would have been like to live there, people just like you and me but clothed in animal skins, wondering about puzzles such as what moved the sun across the sky.
For a moment I was alone on the site, listening to the wind disturb the grasses, looking out at the stone dark waters. It was a haunting moment, touched by the deep time of humanity's long undocumented past.
Then all to soon it was time to turn away and walk back up the path to the 21st century.