Knap of Howar

Knap of Howar

At Knap of Howar on the Orkney island of Papa Westray, a Neolithic farmstead has been wonderfully well preserved, and is claimed to be the oldest preserved stone house in northern Europe, with radiocarbon dating showing that it was occupied from 3500 BC to 3100 BC, earlier than the very similar houses in the settlement at Skara Brae.

The farmstead consists of two adjacent rounded rectangular thick walled buildings with very low doorways facing to sea, the larger and older linked by a low passageway to the other which has been interpreted as a workshop or a second house. They were constructed on an earlier midden, and surrounded by midden material which has protected them. There are no windows, and they were presumably lit by a hole in the roof to let out smoke. They stand close to the shore, but when originally built lay inland. The shore shows how the local stone splits into thin slabs, giving a ready source of construction material.

The walls still stand to an eaves height of 1.6m, and the stone furniture is intact giving a vivid impression of life in the house. Fireplaces, partition screens, beds and storage shelves are almost intact, and post holes were found indicating the roof structure.

Evidence from the middens shows that the inhabitants were keeping cattle, sheep and pigs, cultivating barley and wheat and gathering shellfish as well as fishing for species which have to be line caught using boats.

Finds of finely made and decorated Unstan ware pottery link the inhabitants to chambered cairn tombs nearby and to sites far afield including Balbridie and Eilean Domhnuill.

ee also

*Prehistoric Scotland - Farmers and monument builders


* Scotland Before History - Stuart Piggott, Edinburgh University Press 1982, ISBN 0-85224-348-0
* Scotland's Hidden History - Ian Armit, Tempus (in association with Historic Scotland) 1998, ISBN 0-7486-6067-4
* The Other Orkney Book - Gordon Thomson, Northabout Publishing 1980, ISBN 0-907200-00-1

External links

* [ Orkneyjar - The Knap o' Howar ]
* [ Knap of Howar, Papa Westray.]
* [ Knap of Howar - Neolithic Houses - Ancient Sites Directory]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Knap Of Howar — La principale maison a maintenant vue sur la mer …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Knap of howar — La principale maison a maintenant vue sur la mer …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Knap of Howar — Der Knap of Howar auf Papa Westray, einer Insel der Orkney, ist eine jungsteinzeitliche Siedlung an der Westküste der Insel. Der Platz datiert zwischen 3.700 und 3.100 v. Chr. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Grabungen 2 Bauten 3 Wirtschaftsweise …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Knap of Howar — 59° 21′ 22″ N 2° 53′ 36″ W / 59.3561, 2.89333 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Unstan ware — Die so genannte Unstan ware ist eine neolithische Keramiktradition, die Ende des 4. Jahrtausend v. Chr. in Schottland aufkam. Sie ist benannt nach der Megalithanlage von Unstan auf dem Mainland von Orkney, wo bei einer Grabung im späten 19.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Orcadas prehistóricas — Skara Brae, en las Orcadas, es la población neolítica europea mejor conservada del norte de Europa, encontrada hasta …   Wikipedia Español

  • Prehistoric Orkney — refers to a period in the human occupation of the Orkney archipelago of Scotland that was the latter part of these islands prehistory. The period of prehistory prior to occupation by the genus Homo is part of the geology of Scotland. Although… …   Wikipedia

  • Papa Westray — Strand von Papa Westray Gewässer Nordsee Inselgruppe …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Нэп-оф-Хауар — Вид спереди …   Википедия

  • Skara Brae — | | | |Skara Brae (pronEng|ˈskɑrə ˈbreɪ) is a large stone built Neolithic settlement, located on the Bay of Skaill on the west coast of mainland Orkney, Scotland. It consists of ten clustered houses, and was occupied from roughly 3100 2500BC. It… …   Wikipedia

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