The Varied Use of Stone In Neolithic Orkney…. While We’re Being Pre-historical..…. SSSI’s…..‘Spin’…..‘The Dark Is Rising’ – All Posts……

by Bernie Bell - 07:51 on 16 February 2023

The Varied Use of Stone In Neolithic Orkney….

This is a neat ‘round-up’ by Gary Lloyd of the types of stone tools excavated at the Ness of Brodgar……


Gary’s mention of water-worn beach cobbles being used for smoothing and polishing reminded me of the first time we went to the Eagle Cairn and  Ronnie Simison gave us a tour and showed us some rounded stones which he said were probably used for  grinding grain, or maybe smoothing skins. 

It was a real treat to be able to handle these implements, which are the kind of thing which would usually be in a museum case labelled – ‘DO NOT TOUCH!’  Ronnie said to notice that they are all for right-handed people and wondered if left-handers were seen as being ‘wrong’, as they were until quite recently.  Left-handers were seen as ‘sinister’, as the left side was considered to be the ‘sinister’ or Devil’s side.  Maybe it was so  back then too.  I don’t know, but the stones were all for right-handed use.  I wrote about our encounter with Ronnie in this piece…..


I’m sorry to say that the Eagle Cairn is no longer open to the public – but a walk to the site along the South Ronaldsay East Coast path is still A GOOD THING to do….

Map of walking in South Ronaldsay

If you approach from Winwick, you will be near to the Iron Age site at The Cairns…. https://theorkneynews.scot/2017/07/20/bernie-bells-orkney-walks-winwick-to-halcro-head/

Digging will resume at the Ness of Brodgar and at The Cairns this summer…..



See you there!


While We’re Being Pre-historical..….


My tuppenceworth….


Thinking of the human footprints found in what was mud, in Norfolk….


And there are others, in other parts of the world….. https://www.google.com/search?q=Ancient+human+footprints+found+in+mud&sxsrf


And….. https://earthlogs.org/2023/02/15/who-invented-stone-tools-a-great-surprise-from-kenya/



I received the following from ‘Wild Justice’…. A GOOD THING….

“We have written a blog that walks you through how to use an online mapping site to find your nearest SSSI - click here. There may be one just down the road from you that you knew nothing about!  It may be huge or it may be tiny - wouldn't you like to know?

If you do track down your nearest SSSI on the online system then please let us know its name and how close it is to where you live - email info@wildjustice.org.uk please. It's just for fun, but we'll be interested to find out which of our subscribers lives closest and furthest from one of these sites. And the number of emails will tell us whether this is a subject that might be worth following up with you all at a later date in a future newsletter. 

That's it for now. Thank you so much for your support. 

Thank you,”

Wild Justice (Directors: Mark Avery, Chris Packham and Ruth Tingay).



The use of ‘spin’ isn’t a new thing…..governments, groups and individuals have used past ‘glories’ to get the public on their side for a very long time.  Think Boris and his ‘making Britain great again’  balloookas.

This seminar is specific to Scandinavia, but history, archaeology and nationalism are often un-easy bed-fellows….


Looks like being a very interesting over-view.


‘The Dark Is Rising’ – All Posts……

I put together all my posts about Susan Cooper’s ‘The Dark Is Rising’ series for someone as he wants to read them consecutively – then I thought I might as well post them here for if others would like to, too….

'Over Sea, Under Stone’.....





Then….’The Dark is Rising’….





Then …’Greenwitch’…….


Then ‘The Grey King’……




And finally….‘Silver On The Tree’….






And what will I do with myself now?



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