Orkland Links of Noltland
Sands of Time Sands of Time istoric Scotland
Domestic rituals at the Links of Noltland Rapid erosion has revealed spectacular Neolithic and Bronze Age archaeology on the coast of Westray, Orkney. Contemporary with the Ness of Brodgar’s religious monuments but with a domestic focus, what can this settlement tell us about daily life in prehistoric Orkney? Hazel Moore and Graeme Wilson explain.
Overlooking the North Atlantic on the island of Westray, the Links of Noltland has an impressive prehistoric landscape stretching over 4ha. Comprising the well-preserved remains of over 20 buildings – including Neolithic structures contemporary with, and comparable to, the famous ‘village’ at Skara Brae – together with extensive middens, field systems, and a cemetery, the site is revolutionising knowledge of Neolithic and Bronze Age Orkney.
Noltland’s wealth of archaeological features is in danger of being lost, however. Facing into the wind and exposed to almost constant salt spray, the site is at severe risk of erosion, with the dune system that has protected it for millennia rapidly depleting. Designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a property in the care of Scottish
current archaeology | www.archaeology.co.uk
February 2013 |