Third Neolithic figurine found in Westray excavation
A third Neolithic figurine has been unearthed during ongoing excavations at Links of Noltland on the Scottish island of Westray.
A decision was made by Historic Scotland to begin rescue work on the Links of Notland site in 2006 as the sand dunes were being heavily eroded by the wind. The archaeology below, consists of an extensive settlement and associated field systems extending for around a thousand years from the late Neolithic to the Bronze Age.
During the summer excavations of 2009, the ‘Orkney Venus‘ or locally known as the ‘Westray Wifie’ – Scotland’s earliest representation of a human and carved from sandstone – was unearthed at Links of Notland. In 2010 another figurine was found of approximately the same size as the Orkney Venus, but this time made of clay (the head was missing).
All three figurines are now going on display in the Westray Heritage Centre.
Alasdair McVicar, Chair of the Westray Heritage Trust said:
“The discovery of these figurines has really put Westray and the Heritage Centre on the map. The figurines and the accompanying excellently preserved Neolithic bone and stone tools and cattle skulls on display in the Heritage Centre give an impressive insight into the ancestral past of the island.”
From September 3rd visitors to Links of Noltland will be able to meet the team and see the ongoing dig between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday. The Neolithic settlement, similar to that of Skara Brae consists of drystone structures linked by paved passageways. Most are built within a mound of midden material that has been packed up against the outer walls, resulting in a semi-subterranean arrangement.
The site has attracted interest from archaeologists since the 19th century when renowned antiquarian George Petrie first investigated it.
Source: Historic Scotland