<p>Stand at the Ness of Brodgar on Scotland's Orkney Islands and several iconic Stone Age structures are within easy view, forming the core of a World Heritage site called the Heart of Neolithic Orkney. On a heather-clad knoll half a mile away rises a giant Tolkienesque circle of stones known as the Ring of Brodgar. Discovered little more than a decade ago, the mysterious temple complex on the Ness is now believed to be the epicenter of what was once a vast ritualistic landscape. The site’s extraordinary planning, craftsmanship, and thousand-year history are helping rewrite our entire understanding of Neolithic Britain.</p>

Ring of Brodgar, Scotland

Stand at the Ness of Brodgar on Scotland's Orkney Islands and several iconic Stone Age structures are within easy view, forming the core of a World Heritage site called the Heart of Neolithic Orkney. On a heather-clad knoll half a mile away rises a giant Tolkienesque circle of stones known as the Ring of Brodgar. Discovered little more than a decade ago, the mysterious temple complex on the Ness is now believed to be the epicenter of what was once a vast ritualistic landscape. The site’s extraordinary planning, craftsmanship, and thousand-year history are helping rewrite our entire understanding of Neolithic Britain.

Photograph by Jim Richardson, National Geographic

Travel 365: Best of August 2014

See the ten most popular Travel 365 pictures from August 2014 National Geographic Travel.

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