The area known as Orkney, in the Orkney Islands, is a series of islands that are among the largest and most beautiful in all of Scotland. Countless visitors and tourists flock to these lovely isles each year to lay eyes on the gorgeous scenery but many of these people aren't aware of just how old these noble bodies of land are.
While there are plenty of old cities in the United Kingdom, Orkney beats a vast majority of them in terms of age. In addition, many of the oldest cities have gone through several name changes while Orkney has been called Orkney since the first century B.C. This fact alone would make Orkney among the oldest towns in the area but evidence shows that these islands have in fact been inhabited for nine thousand years! Of course in those days the inhabitants were loose smatterings of tribes from the Mesolithic and Neolithic Eras and these peoples were largely left alone until the marauding boldness of the Norse empire sailed up. This is when Orkney began to take on a more town-like appearance but luckily there are still plenty of preserved Neolithic sites and burial grounds that offer thrills beyond belief to anyone with the slightest interest in humanity or history. Countless fans of such endeavors flock to Orkney each year to lay eyes on some of the oldest inhabited land in history.
The largest island in the Orkney Islands is referred to simply as "The Mainland". It is here that some of the oldest and most exciting relics can be found. A hazelnut shell was uncovered not too long ago that was charred by fire. This means that ancient tribes were cooking in the Orkney Islands for a good many years. What is truly exciting, though, is that the shell was tested and it was learned that it dates back to almost 7000 B.C! There is also a farm that dates back to 3500 B.C and this would put it right smack in the Neolithic Era. While this is fascinating, the most popular spots in the Orkney Islands are the many different stone circles and standing stones that can be found all over the area. Nobody has a clue about the significance of these stones and what they could have meant to the people who had moved them and shaped them but the fact remains that it is incredibly eye-opening to know that a group of people that couldn't even write still had a rich mythology and their own idea of some kind of religion. Orkney is a popular draw for many reasons and it is very much a part of modern day Scotland but we must be careful not to forget just how long the Orkney Islands have been around and the countless generations that have lived and died on this hallowed soil. If you take a trip to Orkney make sure that you don't pass up the downright incredible relics that stretch back to the earliest days of civilized man and even further.