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Seas around Orkney didn’t reach their current level until about 4,000 years ago, perhaps 500 years after Skara Brae was abandoned.

It is likely that encroaching sands and increasing salt-spray blown in from the sea eventually made agriculture too difficult so close to the ocean.

Perched on the breathtaking Atlantic coast of Mainland, the largest island in Scotland’s Orkney archipelago, are the remains of the Stone Age settlement of Skara Brae, dating back 5,000 years.

Just feet from the sea, Skara Brae is one of the best preserved Stone Age villages in the world — a complex of ancient stone house foundations, walls, and sunken corridors carved out of the dunes by the shore of the Bay of Skaill.

Remains of at least 35 stone structures dating from 3300 BC to roughly 1000 BC have been found there so far.