Decorated stone

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from Brodgar, Orkney

Postcard of Decorated stone.
© National Museums Scotland

Decorated stone

This decorated stone slab was found while ploughing at Brodgar in Orkney, associated with four cists. It dates from between 3100 and 2500 BC.

The flat, narrow surface of the stone is decorated with eight vertical bands of geometric decoration.

Symbols played a part in early beliefs. Designs on stones from tombs and monuments must have had special significance. These cists were in an area of ritual importance through the ages, near the stone circle and ritual complexes of Stenness and Brodgar.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-043-433-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.IA 44
Date: Between 3100 and 2500 BC
Material: Sandstone, old red; incised ornamentation
Dimensions: 120 mm H x 330 mm L x 770 mm W
What: Slab
Where: Scotland, Orkney, Stenness, Brodgar
Description: Decorated slab of old red sandstone, from Brodgar, Orkney
  • Clarke, D.V., Cowie, T.G., & Foxon, Andrew (eds). Symbols of power at the time of Stonehenge. Edinburgh: National Museums of Antiquities of Scotland, 1985, pp 257-8. 
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