Book Review: Prehistoric Orkney (Anna Ritchie) : BH

8/12/2001 • British Heritage Book Reviews, Reviews

Prehistoric Orkney, by Anna Ritchie. Distributed in the United States by Trafalgar Square, North Pomfret, Vermont 05053. $29.95 paperback..

With the possible exception of the Wiltshire Downs far to the south, no other locale in the British Isles can boast such an interesting concentration of ancient monuments as Orkney. On this small outpost of civilization, early man left numerous marks, which remain to provide modern man with a fascinating glimpse into the life and skills of his ancestors.

The settlement at Skara Brae and Knap of Howar, the Ring of Brodgar and its sister-circle the Stones of Stenness, the Broch of Gurness and Midhowe, as well as great chambered tombs at Maes Howe, Midhowe and Ibster are just some of the sites explored by Anna Ritchie in PREHISTORIC ORKNEY, published by Historic Scotland. In addition to thorough textual descriptions of the many ruins and beautiful colour illustrations, Prehistoric Orkney includes many reconstructions that restore life to the silent stones.

Because of its rich heritage of prehistoric monuments, Orkney can provide representative examples of nearly every species of Neolithic relic, and rare clues as to how they all related to each other. It therefore makes a great starting point for readers interested in Britain’s prehistory, as this book is a great way to get there.

Bruce Heydt

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