Near the Maeshowe chambered tomb are standing stone circles first erected sometime between 2500 and 2000 B.C.E., possibly for use in Neolithic ceremonies. The stones at Stenness are a bit older (dating to 3400 B.C.E.) than those nearby at the Ring of Brodgar—and more dilapidated, with fewer original monoliths. The tallest stone to remain, though, is almost six meters tall (almost 20 feet). Unlike Stonehenge, which you must admire from a safe distance, here you can climb the earthwork ramparts and walk among these curious monuments to an ancient civilization, little understood today.

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