Rock stars in Orkney
Orkney, 16km off the north coast of mainland Scotland, is made up of over 70 islands. It is packed with awesome archaeology, including standing stones, tombs and prehistoric villages.
A recent project led by Professor Mark Edmonds has been looking at the stunning stone tools that were used in Orkney.The Working Stone, Making Communities project in Orkney was set up to explore stone tools found and used in Orkney across thousands of years. From hammerstones, polishers and pounders, to knives, scrappers and arrowheads, the project looked at a huge number of different tools, telling their stories from prehistory to the present day.
The project, then, is not just about archaeology and how the tools were first made and used. It also investigates how the beautiful objects have been cared for, shared and looked at by people throughout the centuries.
The project website
On the project website, you can search for different types of artefact and discover how they were made. You can also find out about raw materials and how technological traditions changed over time.
Because most of the artefacts described by the project were recovered during excavations, you can search by selecting the name of individual sites; sites like the world-famous Neolithic village at Skara Brae, and the ongoing excavations at the awesome Ness of Brodgar.
There is a gallery of more than 1100 images of flint and stone tools from Orkney on the website, and you will also find 3D models of artefacts and sites too.
The site does not include every artefact ever found in Orkney. Some material is lost and a few assemblages were otherwise unavailable for study. It is also, inevitably, weighted towards the Neolithic, a consequence of the long history of interest in the monuments and stone built structures of the period. However, it brings together artefacts from many sites and from museum collections across the country, providing the first major synthesis on prehistoric stone tools from the region.
Thanks to Professor Mark Edmonds and the team behind the Working Stone, Making Communities project, YAC has two sets of their fantastic 'Rock Stars' card game to give away!
The game is packed with statistics, facts and fabulous photos about the stone objects which the project explored.
Each card rates an object's glamour, rarity, journey, skill, utility, and antiquity with a score out of ten. The game is played by the first player choosing a category from their top card and reading it out. All the players reveal their object's score for that category. The player with the highest score wins all the cards in that round and chooses the next category (in the event of a draw, a second category is picked). The winner is the first person to collect all the cards.
This competition has now closed.
CONGRATULATIONS TO... Izzy & Lotty Wheeler and Noah Dye who were the first two correct entries picked from the YAC hat.
Izzy & Lotty and Noah answered that the name of the famous Neolithic village in Orkney is Skara Brae.