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Skara Brae: c.2500 BC

In the extreme north of Scotland, in the Orkneys, a small neolithic community builds a village in about 2500 BC on a site already occupied for many generations. There is no wood on the island, so the walls of the one-room dwellings are of stone. So is the built-in furniture. There are stone beds and shelves and recessed cupboards, with a hearth in each hut. Low covered passages lead from one dwelling to another. Earth is piled up around to give shelter from the wind. There is even a drain from each of the seven or eight houses, leading to a common sewer.

A sudden disaster of some kind causes Skara Brae to be abandoned. Rapidly covered by sand, it is preserved intact until unearthed in 1850.

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