Barnhouse Settlement


The Barnhouse Settlement is a Neolithic village located in Antaness, Orkney, Scotland, which was inhabited between c. 3300 and 2600 BCE. The present designation of 'Barnhouse' comes from the name of the farmland on which the village was discovered in 1984 CE by the archaeologist Dr. Colin Richards. Excavation of the site began in 1986 CE, revealing ten stone buildings which conformed in design and construction, though not in style, to the village of Skara Brae (c. 3100 BCE) located 5 miles (8 km) to the north-west. Only the foundations of these buildings remain intact as the village was deliberately destroyed, seemingly by the inhabitants, in 2600 BCE and centuries of agricultural activity on the farm displaced many of the loose stones. Grooved Ware pottery found at the site further links Barnhouse to Skara Brae and also to the nearby Standing Stones of Stenness where similar ceramics were uncovered. To date, fifteen buildings have been excavated and partially reconstructed. Unlike Skara Brae, where the houses were built into the earth and surrounded by midden, the structures which comprise Barnhouse were free-standing. Most of these are small buildings, which appear to have been homes while two large structures seem to have served other purposes.

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