A 5,000 years old burial site with thousands of human skeleton parts belonging to the Neolithic, or the New Stone Age, has been unearthed on South Ronaldsay in the Orkney Islands in Scotland.

The site, which was found in 2010, has finally been excavated, though partially, which archaeologists believe belong to the prehistoric times.

According to Julie Gibson, county archaeologist for Orkney, human bones found inside the burial are of mix of genders and age groups, including children and babies.

Initial excavation of the site had also revealed bones of prehistoric otters (semi-aquatic mammals), giving the Orkney Islands tomb the name of “Tomb of the Otters”.

Orkney is also the location of the Neolithic Tomb of the Eagles, which was excavated in 1976 and found to contain around 16,000 human bones along with hundreds of sea eagle bones. Hence, the name.

Orkney has some of the most preserved and “undisturbed” stone-built Neolithic settlements. Skara Brae, a Neolithic village and a UNESCO World Heritage Site now, is one such dwelling that has revealed about art and culture of the prehistoric era.

As with the latest excavation of the tomb archaeologists look forward to know more about the Orkney’s Neolithic human’s community, here are a few pictures of the ancient tombs:

The

The newly excavated Tomb of the Otters in Scotland. PHOTO: The History Blog

 

The

The newly excavated Tomb of the Otters in Scotland. PHOTO: ©Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology (ORCA)

 

Tomb

Tomb of the Eagles. © Copyright Hayley Green/Geograph

 

Entrance

Entrance to Tomb of the Eagles. PHOTO: www.tomboftheeagles.co.uk

 

Skull

Skull and artefacts dating to 3000 BC discovered from Tomb of the Eagles. PHOTO: www.tomboftheeagles.co.uk