|Skara Brae - 2019AD|
Yesterday morning I was walking around the remains of the five thousand-year old settlement at Skara Brae on the Island of Orkney. Along with others before me, I was pondering the challenges for the community of people that called this place home. Youngsters had to learn fast and did not expect to live much beyond thirty years old. It is over 5000 years old and was occupied by Neolithic people from about 3180 BC. There is a familiar sense of high level organisation and ingenuity. This is also seen in the symbols and structural complexity of the massive passage tomb at Newgrange in Ireland that I have treated many visitors to in the past. Now I am on a short holiday break myself and enjoying fine weather at this other remarkable site that is being preserved for the future. Both should be seen by those seeking to reflect upon our deep roots in these islands. Where boundaries and borders were the seas and rivers; but not to isolate but to be used for communications between people and ideas.
Mike Larkin, retired from Queen's University Belfast after 37 years teaching Microbiology, Biochemistry and Genetics.