The name is Old Norse for `mound of mounds’ or `large barrow’. The stone walls of the farmstead stand to a height of five feet (1.6 metres) and, during the time of its occupation, would have been freestanding (today the building appears as though it was built into the earth). Copyright © 2014 - 2020 Orkney.com. According to `Adventures in Archaeology’, “Since Unstan ware was found in the earliest type of tomb in the Orkneys, you would expect to find a similar one nearby for the people of Knap of Howar” yet nothing, so far, has been detected. Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization. They could have been in use for around 500 years. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Found on the west coast of the north isle of Papa Westray, the Knap of Howar features two small structures which are the oldest standing stone buildings in north-west Europe. He has taught history, writing, literature, and philosophy at the college level. Written by Joshua J. The Knap of Howar comprises the substantially complete walls and stone fittings of two side-by-side Neolithic buildings. With the aid of a friend, William Kirkness, he uncovered the two buildings and removed debris and artifacts. But on our daytrip to Papa Westray by bicycle and on foot we went to this place and loved it. (2012, October 17). Look for and book late availability accommodation. Our latest articles delivered to your inbox, once a week: Our mission is to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 17 Oct 2012. Although much of the material of interest had been removed from the two buildings, Ritchie found evidence of Unstan ware pottery shards, indicating that the inhabitants had been in contact with and traded with people of central Orkney and possibly even further south. It ticks so many boxes. Please support Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation. Login | The Knap of Howar is a Neolithic site on the island of Papa Westray in Orkney, Scotland. Create an Account | The living quarters were relatively spacious at 35x18 feet (10x5 metres) and were separated by upright stone slabs which partitioned the front living area from a back kitchen or workroom. They would have wanted shelter, warmth, and places to store and organize their belongings and foodstuffs. Archaeological evidence indicates the people there kept cattle and sheep and, perhaps, pigs, farmed the land to produce barley and wheat, and fished for food. All rights reserved. All Orkney properties listed for sale or for rent with local agents are searchable here in one handy location. from yourself. Mark, published on 17 October 2012 under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. Unlike Skara Brae, you can walk and sit inside these houses, try your hand at the quernstone, and feel much more vividly an echo of life long ago. Orkney, where time travel is a reality. Oldest Structures On Earth: 9 Ancient Wonders That Are Still Standing, Archaeology of Scotland : gazeteer: knap of Howar. We had an excellent guide who gave us a comprehensive insight into life on Papa Westray, from the distant pass to present day. This site uses cookies to improve your experience, to enhance site security and to show you personalised advertising. Ancient History Encyclopedia Limited is a non-profit company registered in the United Kingdom. from Kirkwall by ferry to Westray, bus over Westray, then another ferry to Papa Westray.