United Kingdom

Mainland Orkney, Scotland

Traces of ancient advanced astronomical knowledge


Maeshowe is a chambered cairn build 2.700 B.C. on the Orkney Islands, Scotland.
It is a very fine example of the architectural skills the megalithic builders had long time ago. The mound of Maeshowe is 7 m high and 35 m in diameter, it has a main chamber (4,7m x 4,7m, 3,8 m high) and 3 side chambers build out of sandstone blocks, the heaviest weighs 3t. In the 12 century A.D., vikings carved 30 inscriptions in the sandstone walls, it is one of the largest collection of runes in Europe. There is a special alignment at Maeshowe, at winter solstice the last sun rays shine through the 11 m long passage, illuminating the main chamber (same as Newgrange, Ireland). It marks the end of the darkest time of the year, when the light is returning again. Another interesting fact is the acoustics at Meshowe, there are parts of extrem high and low sound. The West Mainland of Orkney has a lot more ancient monuments such as the Standing Stones of Stenness, the Ring of Brodgar and Skara Brae.