The island of Papay, lying about 20 miles to the north of Kirkwall, is home to 60 archaeological sites.

Among these are the incredibly well-preserved remains of the earliest known dwellings in Orkney — and the oldest standing buildings in northern Europe.

These structures, two oblong, stone-built houses, date from approximately 3,600 BC and were continuously occupied by a series of Neolithic farmers for at least five centuries.

The buildings, on the island's west coast, were uncovered in the 1930s when severe sea erosion revealed deposits of midden material, as well as evidence of well-built, stone walls.


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