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3 November 2014
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Huge trees once grew where New York now stands.

Pieces of American wood have been found at Skara Brae. Most of this wood probably came from trees which fell into rivers from eroded river banks, and were swept down the rivers to the sea. Finally the trees floated across the Atlantic to end on Orkney’s beaches as driftwood.

No trees grew then on Orkney. Do you think driftwood alone would have provided enough material for the roofs?

Large whale bones were found when one of the houses was dug out. These bones might have been used to make a roof frame, with organic material - maybe seaweed - tied on to make a thatch.

Beds made of stone don’t sound very appealing to us but with a little bit of imagination we can see how bracken, sheepskins and deer hide could have made the beds more comfortable, and kept out the draught.

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