The cultural capital of an ancient world

editorial image

Last week’s TV Preview focused on a programme dealing with the situation that Orkney faces with tourists in the present day.

If you would like to know more about Orkney’s past then there is an interesting series of three programmes starting this Sunday night at seven o’clock on BBC2. The series was originally screened at the end of last year and the beginning of this year, but for those who missed it then, there is now another chance of seeing it.

One of the fascinating things about studying history is that our understanding of the past can change when new information comes to light. This is certainly true in the case of Orkney, where recent finds there seem to indicate that rather than being far from the centre of things, it is possible that Orkney was the cultural capital of our ancient world.

There are also likely links between it and Stonehenge as well. This series seeks to uncover some of the mysteries of Orkney in the company of four experts –Dr. Shini Somara, Chris Packham, Neil Oliver and Andy Torbet.

They will be spending time at a dig where hundreds of archaeologists from all over the world have come to discover new information about Orkney. In the first episode Neil Oliver explores some of the tombs and monuments that are there. Chris Packham sees what can be discovered from the DNA of the voles which are uniquely to be found there. Dr. Shini Somara tries to work out how it was possible for the Orcadians to have moved great blocks of stone across what would have been a very difficult terrain. The geology of Orkney is examined by Andy Torbet. It is likely that at the conclusion of the series the archaeologists will uncover something quite surprising.

Ian K.