Maeshowe

Definition

Maeshowe (pronounced `maze-ow' or `maze-oo') is a large Neolithic chambered cairn, dating from between 3000-2800 BCE, in the Stenness parish of Orkney, Scotland. According to Dr. Berit Sanders, of Lund University, the name means `Meadow Mound' and comes from Old Scandinavian; the present location of both Maeshowe and the nearby site of the Maesquoy Standing Stones are thought to have originally been meadows (Orkneyjar.com). The construction of the cairn, and the long passage leading into it, has led scholars to also designate the site a passage grave even though no significant human remains (only traces of bone fragments and a skull portion) have been found at the site. Maeshowe is located in proximity to many other famous Neolithic sites in Orkney such as the Barnhouse Settlement and Barnhouse Stone, The Standing Stones of Stenness, The Ness of Brodgar, The Ring of Brodgar, The Watchstone, Cometstone, and The Unstan Cairn and, to the north-west, The Ring of Bookan and the village of Skara Brae.

More about: Maeshowe

Timeline

  • c. 3300 BCE - 2600 BCE
    Neolithic site of Barnhouse Settlement occupied.
  • c. 3300 BCE - 2600 BCE
    The Barnhouse Settlement constructed and inhabited.
  • 2600 BCE
    Structure Eight (so called) erected at Barnhouse Settlement after village abandoned.
  • 2600 BCE
    Barnhouse Settlement abandoned and partially destroyed by inhabitants.
  • 2600 BCE
    The building now known as Structure Eight raised in Barnhouse Settlement after village is abandoned.
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