Saturday 21 July 2018

Tomb of the Otters, Orkney - symbols and sculpture?

The chambered tomb at Banks, Cleat, Orkney KW17 2RW is becoming known as the Tomb of the Otters due to the large amount of Otter scat found within the layered deposits of human remains dated between 3344BC and 3021BC

Still largely unexcavated but open for visits, highly recommended, it is intriguing especially in its differences to the neighbouring Tomb of The Eagles and other Orcadian tombs.

Two highlights for me:

Is this natural stone enhanced to represent an otter's head? It was found, I think, under the bones of young girl. That it might have been her keepsake is a touching idea.

There are many examples of scratched symbols on stones in the tomb, as it was never opened from its neolithic sealing they can be dated to that period. Are they related to the slightly similar carvings found at Cat's Brain, Cissbury etc.?

Click to enlarge.

1 comment:

  1. A comparison:

    It may have been carved from scratch!