Chance to work at ancient Skara Brae on Orkney

The 5,000 year old village of Skara Brae on the west mainland of Orkney. Picture: Jane Barlow
The 5,000 year old village of Skara Brae on the west mainland of Orkney. Picture: Jane Barlow
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It is the ideal job for those with a love of Scottish history and the remarkable island story of Orkney in particular.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) is looking for new staff to join their team at Skara Brae, the best-preserved Neolithic settlement in Western Europe and a heritage site of world importance.

The stone-built settlement, on the west coast of Orkney mainland, was occupied from around 3180 BC to about 2500 BC - making it older than both Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids.

Given its excellent level of presevation, it has been described as the ‘Scottish Pompeii’.

HES is now recruiting staff with “enthusiasm and a friendly attitude” to help run the site and conduct guided tours when necessary.

The part-time role runs from Easter until September 2018 and is one of a number of seasonal roles the heritage body is currently recruiting across the country.

“Our people safeguard historic places from Shetland to Stranraer, bringing to life more than 5,000 years of history for millions of visitors each year at castles, abbeys, mills and more,” a listing on the HES website said.

Skara Brae remained hidden by sand dunes until it was partially uncovered by a storm in 1850. But it would not be properly exacavate and documented until the University of Edinburgh’s Professor V. Gordon Childe travelled to the site for the first time in mid-1927.

READ MORE: Footsteps from the past: the ancient village of Skara Brae

Skara Brae today comprises eight well-preserved houses, with the remains of others below and around them. All but one are inter-connected by passages with stone roofs which would have provided much-needed shelter in the harsh Orcadian winters.

The buildings are sub-circular and constructed using local stone.