Archeologists working in Orkney have discovered that the Neolithic period saw drastic changes in burial over a short period of time. They have concluded that the area was full of competition between different groups.
A research team lead by Professor Alex Bayliss from Historic England is focused on the later Neolithic period (3200-2500 BCE) and providing a timeline for developments in the Orkney area.
This study used 613 radiocarbon measurements from 31 different sites on the Orkney archipelago in Northern Scotland. The researchers focused on grave sites, and found that there was significant overlap in the carbon dating of two different types of graves. Further study of animal remains in graves and pottery found at different sites could not provide any clarity to these questions.
Instead of clarifying the timeline, the research team instead has discovered that the late Neolithic period in Orkney was more complex than previously realized.
The results were published in the journal Antiquity.