An Orcadian Diary (2) Before History

Sun in Gemini

Child Archeologist smaller

Continued from Part One

And now we should go back to an older time – a much older time – to flesh out the story of the islands of Orkney, north-east of the Scottish mainland.

The man in the picture is Gordon Childe. It’s 1927. He’s the newly-appointed Abercrombie Professor of Prehistoric Archeology at the University of Edinburgh. The photo shows him emerging from the first formal excavation of an ancient settlement named Scara Brae.

He’s an Australian and a Marxist, though his knowledge and insight have gained him an international reputation for other types of revolution. The depth of his understanding of ancient peoples is the reason he has been appointed to oversee the work at Scara Brae by the conservative Edinburgh establishment. He’s not frightened of proposing things that upset his fellows in the field… and he’s about to propose something truly shocking about Scara Brae…

Scara Brae…

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