The Ancients

End of Stone Age Orkney

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Episode notes

Around 5200 years ago, during the Neolithic period, when farming first took hold, Orkney was a hugely influential cultural centre. Yet, as Europe moved into the Bronze Age, the islands’ influence dwindled and Orkney became more insular. But what do we know about the arrival of the Bronze Age in Orkney and Scotland?

In today’s episode of The Ancients, Tristan is joined by Professor Martin Richards from University of Huddersfield, one of the leaders of an exciting new research project. Working along side researchers who uncovered DNA evidence that brings to light new information for this moment of Britain’s prehistory, Martin and the team's work is helping change the way Stone Age Orkney is viewed.

By combining archaeology with the study of ancient DNA from Bronze Age human remains, researchers now know much more about this time than ever before, and the results have come as a great surprise to geneticists and archaeologists alike.

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