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From Skara Brae, Orkney

Postcard of Knife.
© National Museums Scotland


This stone knife was found at the Neolithic settlement of Skara Brae in Orkney. It is one of a number of objects offered as part of a ritual when a house was abandoned sometime between 3350 and 2650 BC.

This is a flake struck from a large cobble, its sharp edges used as a simple knife. Knives of this type are called 'Skaill knives' after finds from Skaill in Orkney. It has been decorated with etched lines.

For much of our history, belief and rituals were part of day to day living. Special objects were deposited when a building was made, or offered while it was in use, or, as in this case, when the house was abandoned.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-103-335-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.1997.299
Date: 3350 - 2650 BC
Between 3350 and 2650 BC
Material: Decorated
Where: Scotland, Orkney, Skaill, Skara Brae
Description: Decorated Skaill knife from an early house, Skara Brae, Orkney, 3350 - 2650 BC
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