This volume brings together several years of work devoted to the wider landscape of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site. It documents the results of a programme of geophysical and related survey across an area of c. 285 hectares between Skara Brae on the west Orkney coast and Maeshowe, by the Loch of Stenness. The project has made it possible to talk for the first time about the landscape context of some of the most remarkable and renowned prehistoric monuments in Western Europe.
The aims are to synthesise the data from different forms of survey and to document the changing character and development of this landscape over time. The results are genuinely remarkable are presented in a manner which makes the material of interest and value to a relatively wide readership, with an array of images which fully document and interpret the evidence.
Survey work at a landscape scale tends to deal with palimpsests. Here descriptive sections are set within a thematic structure designed to explore the changing use and significance of different areas over time. The results shed important new light on the character and extent of known prehistoric sites and ceremonial monuments. But they also document the afterlives of these and other places and their relation to the lived landscapes of the historic and more recent past. In tracing the changing configuration of the World Heritage Area, we can begin appreciate this landscape as an artefact of several millennia of dwelling, working land, attending to wider worlds and to the past itself.