My Illlustrated Travel Journal with Essays about Roman and Mediaeval History and some Geology


3.10.17
  A Virtual Tour through Mediaeval Erfurt

I had been to Erfurt, the capital of the county of Thuringia, back at the time of analog cameras, and only for a few hours. But it takes more than a few hours to explore all the interesting historical sites, so I always wanted to go back, especially since Erfurt plays such an important role in German Mediaeval history.

Cathedral (left) and St.Severus Church (right)

We'll start with the most iconic view of Erfurt, the two churches and the stairs on the cathedral hill: St.Mary's Cathedral and St. Severus Church. The cathedral is the kernel of the town. The first church on the site was built by St.Boniface in 742. Erfurt belonged to the diocese of Mainz and later the diocese of Paderborn during most of its history, but today the cathedral is the centre of the diocese of Erfurt, which administers mostly the Thuringian Eichsfeld - the rest of the county is predominantly Protestant.

Cathedral, interior

The present building is early Gothic; a three naved hall church (which means all three naves have the same height) without a transept. The choir was added in the 14th century by enlarging the hill by those huge stone arcs called cavates which you can see in the first photo. Until the 19th century, litte houses snuggled inside those large caverns.

Cathedral, the crypt

The crypt, which should rather be called a lower church, was added together with the choir. It is usually not open to the public, but sometimes they'll leave the door open for a bit after an event. I was lucky to catch such a moment, since I have a soft spot for crypts. Crypt and cloister are today used by the University of Erfurt.

The main portal of the cathedral

The portal with the parable of the ten virgins was also added about 1330. The parable tells about ten virgins waiting to escort a bridegroom to the celebration. Five of them brought extra oil for their lamps and so when the bridegroom came, they could follow him. The stupid virgins had to run to the market to buy oil, missed the bridegroom and were excluded from the party. The parable means that one should always be prepared for the Day of Judgement. The motive is quite popular for church portals.

View to the cathedral square

The stairs are a popular place to sit and look down at the cathedral square. Halfway down the hill is a kiosk with a garden, which sells original Thuringian bratwurst and dark beer. Very yummy and just the thing for a little break. The weather produced some spectacular clouds, but there was very little rain.

The Inn to the High Lily at the cathedral square

A particularly pretty house at the cathedral square is the 'Inn to the High Lily' (Gasthaus zur Hohen Lilie). It is first mentioned in a document from 1341, thus making it one of the eldest inns mentioned by name in Europe. The present building dates to the 15th century. Martin Luther stayed there in disguise, as well as King Gustav Adolf II of Sweden and other famous people. I had a lunch snack in the garden restaurant.

Renaissance houses at the Fishmarket

Erfurt lies at the crossing between the Via regia which ran all the way from Santiago de Compostela via Mainz and Frankfurt /Rhine to Kraków, and the trade route from Nuremberg to the Hanseatic towns in the north, so it is not surprising that the town has several markets. The Renaissance houses at the Fishmarket are particularly nice.

Merchant's hose To the Great Paradise and Donkey

This building is somewhat older, a fine example of a half-timbered first floor atop a ground floor and cellar made of stone. It was once the house of a wealthy merchant. Unfortunately, I could not find out where the odd name 'To the Great Paradise and Donkey' comes from.

Woad Storage Hall

From the 13th to 16th century, the production of blue dyes made from woad was one of the foundations of Erfurt's wealth. The woad hall was built in mid-16th century for storage and working of woad. Towards the end of that century, the imported indigo developed into a competition with which the Erfurt woad could not compete in the long run.

The Old Synagogue

The Old Synagogue dates to the 11th century, was rebuilt in 1270 and is thus one of the oldest synagogues in Europe. The synagogue had been abandoned after the progrome from 1349 and put to various other uses. It was converted into a ballroom and bowling alley in the 19th century and therefore survived Hitler's demolition program. The original use of the building was recovered in 1992.

Old synagogue, the Gothic wall

I admit I was pissed that photographing inside the synagogue is not allowed - it is a museum, after all, and not everyone interested in Jewish history can afford to travel to Erfurt. I would have liked to share some more photos with you than just the above and one of the entrance side of the synagogue with its Gothic windows.

The mikveh

But I managed to snatch a shot of the mikveh, which was verboten als well *grin*. The 13th century Jewish ritual bath, which makes use of the fresh water of the Gera river, was discovered in 2007 under a former cemetary. It is one of the eldest in Germany, though the mikveh in Speyer is even older.

Merchants' Bridge

The Merchant's Bridge is the second iconic site in Erfurt. It started with a timber bridge across the Gera river in the 1250ies which was rebuilt in stone in 1325. The bridge is 125 metres long and 20 metres wide, supported by six stone arcs. It had been additionally expanded by timber constructions to allow for three-storeyed houses.

On the Merchants' Bridge

Originally, there were 60 small houses on the bridge, today there are still 32 (some houses have been 'merged'). There are little stores and boutiques on the ground floors, selling handcrafted pottery and carvings, spices, very good ice cream (Goldhelm) and other items. People still live in the upper floors, making the Merchants' Bridge a unique remnant of Mediaeval town architecture and a big tourist attraction.

St.Egidius Church with entrance gate to the Merchants' Bridge,
and the Red Tower

Originally, the Merchant's Bridge was closed by gates. Above the remaining gate sits a little church which dates to the 12th century, though the oriel at the outside is late Gothic. Its separate belfry - an unusual feature in Germany - is known as the Red Tower.

St.Augustine Monastery, the cloister

The Augustine Monastery was founded in 1276. The whole complex of buildings, including a library and a woad storage hall, were finished in 1516. After the Reformation and secularisation (1559), the buildings served various purposes; some of them suffered from neglect. A few of the buildings have recently been replaced with modern ones which fit surprisingly well, but most have been repaired and reconstructed. Since 2004, the former monastery serves as religious community centre. The church and some other parts can be visited during guided tours.

St. Augustine Monastery, refectory

The Augustine Monastery is famous because Martin Luther stayed there as monk 1505 - 1511; he then moved to Wittenberg (where he had his 95 theses nailed to the church portal in 1517). Little did he suspect he would change the religious landscape of Germany and Europe when he first studied the Bible and other writings in his cell.

Collegium Maius

The Collegium Maius was the old university of Erfurt, the third eldest in Germany after Heidelberg and Cologne. It was officially acknowledged by the pope in 1392 and offered studies in four faculties: Theology, Philosophy, Law, and Medicine. The university was closed in 1816, and the building destroyed during WW2, but it was re-erected in the 1980ies. Since 1999, there is a university in Erfurt again (though it uses other buildings).

St.Michael's Church

St. Michael's Church dates to the 12th century, but - as so often with old churches - it was rebuilt in Gothic style in the 15th century. It was used as church of the university since 1392. Martin Luther held sermons there 1522 and the church became the first stronghold of the preachers of the Reformation in Erfurt.

Dominican Church (Predigerkirche), interior

The Dominican Church, also known als Predigerkirche (Preachers' Church) was once part of a 13th century Dominican monastery. It is another fine example of the early Gothic style and another hall church without a transept. Today it serves as the main Protestant church in Erfurt. It is less tourist infected than the cathedral, but I recommend a look inside; it's pretty in a somewhat austere way.

Ruins of the Franciscan Church (Barfüsserkirche)

Erfurt was littered with churches and monasteries in the Middle Ages. Not all of them survived the passage of time, but the more important ones were repaired after the damage of WW2. The 14th century Franciscan Church belonged to a monastery which already had been damaged during the Thirty Years War. The church was deliberately left a ruin after WW2, as memorial of the war.

Mill at the Gera river

The present mill dates to 1736, but there has been a mill at the site since the 13th century. It was in use as corn mill until 1982; the last remnant of a whole set of mills at the Gera river.

I hope you liked the little tour. There will be more detailed posts about some of the sites.
 


17.9.17
  Some More Castles in Thuringia - An Overview

I spent a week visiting the towns of Erfurt, Jena, and Weimar. Two days I went hiking to some castles in the surroundings. Here are some first impressions (posts about the towns of Erfurt, Jena, and Weimar, and more detailed portraits of the castles will follow).

Castle Gleichen near Erfurt

Some ten miles west of Erfurt, three hills of almost identical conic shape rise in the Thuringinan Basin, and each of them has a castle on top: Burg Gleichen, Mühlburg and Wachsenburg. The castles itself are pretty different, though.

(BTW, Google Maps got the location of Castle Gleichen totally wrong. It is several miles away from the second castle, the Mühlburg.)

Castle Gleichen, the keep

Castle Gleichen is the largest of the three. It is first mentioned in a charte dating to 1088 and was used as residence by the counts of Gleichen until the 16th century. The remains range from Romanesque to Renaissance buildings.

Inner bailey with old hall (left) and the chancelry

The castle is connected with the legend of a Count of Gleichen who was happily married to a noble lady. But then he went to a crusade, was captured by the Turks and rescued by a beautiful sultana whom he promised to marry. They went to the pope in Rome to get a dispens and then returned home. The first wife must have been a model of all female virtues, because she didn't throw a fit but instead welcomed the beautiful rival, and all three lived happily ever after.

Detail shot of the 16th century arcades

The top of the hill has been flattened during the various changes in the layout of the castle, therefore the inner bailey is unusually large. There once were more buildings than today, mostly made of timber.

The old hall, interior

It was a fine day for hiking, warm and dry, and often sunny, though some clouds made for pretty dramatic photos, like the one of the Mühlburg below.

Castle Mühlburg near Erfurt

The Mühlburg is smaller, but its history is equally interesting (albeit lacking legends about beautiful sultanas). Most of the remains date to the mid-14th century. Significant traces of the fortifications remain; the trenches are still visible in parts, and the Mühlburg had a zwinger.

Remains of some buildings

Since the castle is close to the village of Mühlberg, it is a fine destination for a little family afternoon out, especially on a Sunday. There is a booth selling beverages and ice cream, and yes, Köstritzer dark beer and chocolate ice cream do go together. I earned myself both, lol.

The zwinger

The Wachsenburg, which today houses a hotel, has been altered most, so I wasn't that interested in going there as well. It took me a day to cover the other two, after all. Luckily I got a ride back to Erfurt.

Castle Lobedburg near Jena

Castle Lobdeburg near Jena ist not a large castle, but it must have been impressive once due to its compact structures along the steep slope; the remains still are. The interior of the middle bailey is closed off because of the danger of falling stones, and the lower bailey is under repair. I managed to sneak through a gap in the fence to take some photos, though.

Lobdeburg, the lower bailey

The Lobdeburg dates to the 12th century. The castle was inhabited until the end of the 16th century, afterwards it was used as quarry until the Lobdeburg Society started to take care of the ruins about hundred years ago.

Remains of the middle bailey

The walk around the ruins is a bit of an adventure path right now. I was glad for my trusty walking staff. But I got some good looks on the fine Romanesque windows and other features.

The Fuchsturm (Fox Tower) near Jena

The Fox Tower is the only remaining part of another castle near Jena. There was a chain of three castles on the Hausberg ridge in the 12th century; Castle Kirchberg was the most important of them. They were destroyed in 1304 and never restored except for the Fox Tower.
 


7.9.17
  A Little Autumn Tour

I will be away for a few days traveling to Erfurt, Weimar and Jena in Thuringia. I've mentioned Erfurt a few times in my history posts; the town played an important role in the Middle Ages.

Weimar, and to some extent Jena as well, are mostly connected with the Weimar Classicism, an important period in German literature during the late 18th century. Its most famous representants are Johann Wolfgang von Goethe und Friedrich von Schiller. Visiting Weimar is pretty much like visiting Stratford-upon-Avon for the English people.

So there should be some Mediaeval buildings, maybe even a castle or two, and several late 18th century sites, for a change.


I'll leave you with a pretty sunset over the Baltic Sea.
 


15.8.17
  Neolithic Orkney - Life in Skara Brae

Skara Brae might look like a cozy little village at the end of the world, but it was in fact part of a net of settlements and stone settings in the area, from the Ring of Brodgar, the Stones of Stenness and the burial mound of Maes Howe to the settlement of Barnhouse and the really intriguing structures found at the Ness of Brodgar. Finds on the site also show contacts to places on the Mainland and in Ireland.

Skara Brae

5,000 years ago, Skara Brae didn't sit as closely to the coast as today. No one wants the ocean in his living room on a regular basis, after all. The sea level was lower and the settlement was therefore situated some hundred metres inland, on a gentle slope of bedrock covered by sand dunes and grass. Today, precautions have to be taken to prevent the sea from claiming the place.

Erosion at the coast and the protective wall of Skara Brae in the background

We don't know much about life at Skara Brae and the other Neolithic settlements. Archaelolgical remains are helpful, of course, but a lot is still guesswork. Does the uniformity of the houses point at a society without a clearly distinguishable elite, or was it an elite settlement, and other members of the tribe lived elsewhere in places not yet found? The construction of sites like the Ring of Brodgar would have required a good deal of organisation and probably some sort of leadership as well. We will likely never know for sure.

A covered passage

What we do know is that they were skilled workers of stone, walrus ivory and bone. They held cattle, sheep and pigs and thus ate meat and diary products, eked out with some barley and emmer wheat. They hunted red deer and boar, went fishing in the ocean for shellfish and cod, and gathered bird eggs. One came imagine that they would have found additional sources of food like kelp in bad times. They were probably clad in fur and leather, since no traces of working fabrics like wool have been found (like spindles or loom weights). Perhaps they knew felting techniques.

Remains of a house from the outside

The - less well preserved - village at Barnhouse had some houses of the same basic design as Skara Brae: the central hearth, the dresser, the beds to both sides, like Stone Age Ikea had a sale going on. *grins* We cannot say for sure whether that structure had a deeper meaning or just turned out to be the most practical one considering the material - local red sandstone that can easily be worked into slabs - and climatic conditions on Orkney. The slabs that framed the beds would surely allow for generous layers of dried heather, hay and furs against the cold.

The reconstructed house

The hearth had a central place in every house, even those not following the basic pattern. The hearths in Skara Brae and other settlements were framed with stone slabs and open on top - kids likely learned early not to go too close. Hearths were the main source of light and warmth, the fire was used for cooking and other endeavours that required heat (like the pre-heating of chert, see below), its smoke would cure leather and preserve fish and meat. We don't know if there was a chimney-like hole in the roof of the houses or by whatever means it was finally released into the air. The importance of the hearth is also shown by a hearth-like structure in the Stones of Stenness.

Interior of the reconstructed house, with the toilet enclosure in the left upper corner

The houses at Skara Brae were ensuite; I mentioned the toilet in the first post. This photo shows the special little corner, though there was no electric light, of course. In fact, we know little about the light sources other than the hearth fire. There may have been portable lamps filled with oil or fat, or maybe torches, but no archaeological digs have so far rendered clearly identifiable objects.

Interior of the reconstructed house at Skara Brae

I took this one with a flash to illuminate the limpet box to the right, between bed an dresser (about the limpet boxes see the first essay about Skara Brae). The dresser is a curious feature. It could have been used simply for storage, but since there is a lot of storage space in the walls and the position of the dresser opposite the entrance so prominent, it most likely held precious objects for display.

Carved stone objects

Something like this, maybe. We don't know what those objects were used for; the general assumption is that they had some religious significance which remains unknown. Religion and society remain mostly a mystery without written documents. The role of burial mounds and cairns implies that the dead, the ancestors, played a role in the religious thinking of the people, and the effort it took to built stone henges like Brodgar means those must have been important as well.

Bone pearl necklace

Or perhaps those small stone objects were just proof of the skill of the stone workers. To invest time in creating something of no practical use could indicate that the people were well enough off to be able to afford time to make decorative items, or had the means to purchase them. Jewelry like the above necklace most likely belonged in that category, except for bone pins necessary to hold clothes which also have been found at the site. Some slabs, like the bed frames, are sometimes decorated with carved butterfly designs.

Pots and pot sherds

Stone was not only used for the houses and furniture, but for cutlery and storage vessels as well. Some jars were so large and heavy that they probably were not moved around a lot but remained in the storage niches in the walls. There may have been wooden items as well, but those decay more easily and have not yet been found.

Worked stone tools and a hammerstone

The last photo from the displays in the small museum at the site shows some of the tools: sharpened sandstone flakes known as Skaill knives, chert (a flint like stone that is best worked by prior heating in a fire) tools, and a hammerstone. The Skaill knives were the Swiss knives of the time, used for everything from cutting wood to scraping leather.

A detail shot of House 8

I've mentioned that House 8 is different from the other houses at Skara Brae and might have been a place used for work, mostly of bone and walrus ivory. The knapping of the chert probably took place on the paved area outside of the house. An open space would be better suited for that sort of work since splinters tend to fly around, and you don't want them in your food or bed furs. It doesn't become clear from the description of the guidebook if the so called 'market square' was covered like the passages, though.

The 'market square'

Barnhouse shows a similar building outside the village proper, surrounded by a separate wall. In that case, it is assumed that it was some sort of gathering hall. Maybe the house at Skara Brae served a double function as work space and place for gatherings (since there is no other house suitable for the purpose, if not lost to the sea), though it would have been a bit small to hold all inhabitants of the village. Maybe it was only a special group who met there.

Skara Brae, seen from a different angle

Neoltihic Orkney continues to be an intriguing place. Maybe the digs at the Ness of Brodgar will help to solve some of the remaining riddles. And probably bring up new ones. *wink*

Sources
Dr. David Clarke: Skara Brae - Official Souvenir Guide, published by Historic Scotland 2012
Sally Foster: Maes Howe and the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, Historic Scotland Official Souvenir Guide. 2006
The Orkneya website

 


18.7.17
  Neolithic Orkney - Skara Brae

Storms often destroy coastal land, but sometimes they also bring to light interesting finds that have long been covered by sand and earth. The Viking Treasure from the German island of Hiddensee is one of those. Another one from Orkney is much larger: an entire Neolithic village.

Skara Brae, a Neolithic settlement on Mainland Orkney

It was the winter of 1850 when a great storm hit Orkney. Its ferocous waves tore the grass layer off a mound known at Skerrabra in the Bay o'Skaill in the west Mainland. The opening in the mound revealed some stone buildings. The laird William Watt who lived in nearby Skaill House took an interest in the place and started digging around, together with James Farrer who had discovered Maes Howe. Their notes are unfortunately sketchy, but it can be assumed that they discovered what is today known as houses 1, 3, 4 and 5.

Another view of Skara Brae

No more research took place and the site remained obscure until the Watt family gave it into the care of the Commissioners of Works, the predecessor of Historic Scotland (1), in 1924. A year later, another storm destroyed most of House 3, and it became clear that the site needed to be protected against the sea. A wall was built which had to be repaired several times until today. The sea and coastal erosion continue to be a threat to the site.

Gordon Childe, the first Abercromby Professor of Prehistoric Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh was tasked with the further excavation of Skara Brae as the site was now called, in 1928. But he was not allowed to do any proper digging; the aim was to clean out the houses so they could be displayed to the public.

Remains of house 3

At the time, the site was thought to be a Pictish village (about AD 500), albeit Gordon Childe was not so sure about that and suspected an earlier date. But it would take until the 1970ies to confirm the date by radiocarbon dating: the village was inhabited between 3,200 - 2,500 BC, thus making Skara Brae part of the Neolithic world of henges and settlements around the Ring of Brodgar.

During the 1970ies excavation, some trenches were dug as well and more structures and artefacts discovered which are now shown in a little museum at the site.

House 1

Skara Brae consists of eight dwellings which are connected by a series of low, covered passages. Due to the site having been covered by sand and grass, the structures are very well preserved.

Most of the houses have a standard design that looks like everyone bought their stuff at Stone Age Ikea (complete with a set of Billys): a square room with rounded corners, with a central fireplace in the middle, a shelved stone dresser opposite the entrance and beds on both sides; all made of stone slabs. Niches in the walls served for storage. Each house had a low door that could be closed with a stone slab and a bar.

One must imagine the beds to be filled with dried grass or heather and furs, and a fire burning in the hearth - it was quite a comfortable dwelling back in the Neolithic Age.

House 9

There are two distinct stages of construction. In the older houses (no. 9 and 10) of more circular shape, the beds are built into the wall in alcove-style, while in the newer houses they stand along the side walls in the room.

The older houses date to about 3,200 BC which makes them 500 years older than the pyramids in Egypt. They were part of a village prior to the major part of the buildings visible today und hidden under those. Besides houses 9 and 10, remains of that older village have been found beneath house 7. The older village had freestanding houses and no covered passages.

House 10

The 'newer' village has been built mostly atop the older one, using the midden as part of the wall constructions. Midden consists of the organic remains of a settlement which over time turn into soil, together with harder materials like stone chips and shells. The new houses were built into the midden, and midden was also used to fill the space between the double stone walls, making the entire wall structure about two metres thick.

We do not know for sure how the roofs were built. Whale bones or driftwood beams (there never were many trees on Orkney) may have been used for support, then covered with skins, seaweed, reed or turf - all organic materials that have perished. Seaweed has been used for roofing on Orkney until the 19th century. Since the houses were built into the midden, the village would have appeared as a mound, probably with the high roofs of the houses standing out.

Exterior of house 4

With the current size, the place could have housed some 50 to 100 inhabitants. It is assumed that the village was never much larger than what we can see today, but on the other hand, since already one house was lost to the sea in 1928, there is a possibility that earlier storms destroyed more of the settlement.

A system of passages that connect the houses can be found in the newer village. The passages had a height of only about on metre and were covered with stone slabs. Since skeleton finds in house 7 show that the inhabitants were not much shorter than today's average, it meant that people had to stoop when entering the passages or passing through the doors of the houses. The main entrance of the passage could be closed by a barred stone door - maybe a measure of defense.

The passages

The similar layout of the houses and the position of the shelved dresser is an interesting feature. The dresser would be illuminated by the fire burning in the middle of the room and immediately visible from the entrance. It is assumed that valuable items would have been put there for display.

Another theory is that the right side of the house was the male, and the left side the female area. The beds to the right are usually larger, and on the left side, beads and other decorative items have been found. But there is no proof for this: beads could well have been male status jewelry and the larger beds used by mothers with children.

House 2

The thick walls had box-shaped holes for storage. In water bassins in the floor, made of stone slabs and clay, limpets were kept as fishing baits and perhaps also as emergency food, though they were not a regular part of the diet.

A somewhat larger hole; in some houses even a little rotund annex, is supposed to have been an indoor toilet. You can see one in the foreground of the photo of house 9 above. There was a surprisingly sophisticated drainage system underlying the village's design.

Storage holes in house 1

House 7 cannot be seen today because it is covered with a protective roof due to its importance. But there is a reconstruction outside of Skara Brae which is modeled after house 7. Since the house is a bit outside the rest of the village and can only be reached by a side-passage, and is built on sand, not midden, it may be the oldest structure on the site which has later been remodeled. House 7 also got an extra wall around its perimeter.

Two female skeletons have been found in a decorated stone cist under the right side beds (2) which must have been interred prior to the building of the house. The door of house 7 could only be bolted from the outside, another curious detail. One can only speculate about those features: The house could have been used for rituals, perhaps those involving the dead or the cycle of life (childbirth, menstruation etc.; 3)

Interior of the reconstructed house

The Office of Works wanted to display house 7 to the public while also protecting it from the elements. A concrete layer was put on top of the walls which still stand to 3 metres height, supporting a glass roof with sliding panels. But it turned out that the weight of the concrete and glass had damaged the walls. Therefore the roof was replaced with lighter material and measures taken to ensure that humidity and temperature inside the house remain constant.

For years, visitors were allowed to walk between the houses and crawl through the passages. But while the stone walls look solid, they are actually quite fragile, and people walking on them and touching them will cause damage in the long run. Today, the site can only be seen from a path running at its perimeter. You can still get a good view from there and use the camera zoom for details.

Skara Brae on a 'busy' day in June

Another special building is house 8. That one stood apart from the rest of the settlement to the west, was egg shaped instead of rectangular, with a fire place in the centre, but no beds and no dresser. The walls hold several alcoves. In front of it, the passage opens to a paved area which today is known as 'market place'.

The floor of the house was littered with fragments of flint and chert and other traces of toolmaking. Therefore, house 8 is considered to have been a workshop, at least for some time while the village was inhabited. Its separate situation could also point at a meeting hall or something along those lines.

House 8

Gordon Childe thought that Skara Brae was abandoned due to some catastrophic event, a 'northern Pompeii'. But today it is thought that a combination of coastal erosion, sand blows, and changes in Neolithic society led to the site being abandoned. Sand and salt spray from the sea may have rendered the land unfit for cereal production and maybe even for grazing. A migration to more productive lands is a possibilty. In that case, the village may have been abandoned step by step, with the younger members probably leaving first.

Another reason could have been the development of an elite society that changed the social patterns of village life. Larger communities became more common, attracting migrants from the village. There are no signs of a violent end (like fe. a battle) to Skara Brae.

Plan displayed at the site

Another post about Skara Brae can be found here.

Footnotes
1) Since 2015 it is the HES, Historic Environment Scotland.
2) Which implies that in fact the right side may have been the female one.
3) Or maybe as prison, albeit a pretty comfortable one.

Sources
Dr. David Clarke: Skara Brae - Official Souvenir Guide, published by Historic Scotland 2012
Sally Foster: Maes Howe and the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, Historic Scotland Official Souvenir Guide. 2006
The Orkneya website
 


The Lost Fort is a travel journal and history blog based on my travels in Germany, the UK, Scandinavia, and other places. It includes essays on Roman and Mediaeval history, as well as some geology, illustrated with photos of old castles and churches, Roman remains, and beautiful landscapes.

All texts (except comments by guests) and photos (if no other copyright is noted) on this blog are copyright of Gabriele Campbell.
My Photo
Name:
Location: Germany

I'm a blogger from Germany with a MA in Literature and History which doesn't pay my bills, so I use it to research blogposts instead. I'm interested in everything Roman and Mediaeval, avid reader and sometimes writer, opera enthusiast, traveller with a liking for foreign languages and odd rocks, photographer, and tea aficionado. And an old-fashioned blogger who hasn't yet gotten an Instagram account. :-)


e-mail


    Featured Posts


A Virtual Tour Through the Wartburg



Dunstaffnage Castle



The Roman Fort at Osterburken



The Vasa Museum in Stockholm



The Raised Bog Mecklenbruch in the Solling