It may not be a very old treasure, but today’s handmade necklaces can be based on traditional art
Handmade jewelry, such as handmade necklaces, is perfect to represent the huge treasure chest of ancient art and monuments on our islands. Orkney jewelry often features special collections based on this theme.
They include attributes of the wonderful craftsmanship of the Neolithic people who left their mark on the ancient village of Skara Brae. These men and women loved art and ornaments. Its stone sideboards survive to this day. And magnificently decorated stones reveal the enigmatic emblems of these ancient peoples that remain as sharp as the day they were carved.
This unique town was preserved for millennia under sand dunes until a tremendous storm revealed the group of houses that were once inhabited by the first farmers. Handmade necklaces with the Skara Brae motif are some of the best-selling handmade jewelry.
Lately it has emerged that the vast array of ancient archeology that draws people to the islands here in Orkney is simply the tip of the iceberg. You can also find possibly the same amount of monuments under the seas surrounding Orkney. The 70 or more islands in the archipelago were once linked until rising sea levels created the islands and skerries we see today. Sea levels were about three meters lower 5,000 years ago in Neolithic times, even though the islands were already separated by then. Several of the tombs, houses, and temples found near the coast today were once inland.
Many of the buildings that were then on the coast must now have been covered by the sea. A group of archaeologists, geoscientists and geographers have already been surveying the seafloor and have just identified what appears to be a henge monument under a lake (an oval surrounded by ditches and riverbanks) very close to the famous Ring of Brodgar. And what appears to be a grave much like the Maeshowe burial marker has been identified in a sheltered bay.
Much more work needs to be done to discover what these structures or characteristics are. Divers will no doubt be dispatched again to see the algae-covered rocks in waters that have very limited visibility. And sonar studies, like land-based geophysical studies, will take a closer look at what lies beneath the waves.
Perhaps much more inspiration can eventually be found for handmade necklaces similar to the Skara Brae design. However, the monuments and tombs will remain underwater, keeping most of their secrets forever.