Secrets of Orkney: Britain's Ancient Capital

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Secrets of Orkney: Britain's Ancient Capital

Series 1



If you think of Stone Age Britain, your first instinct would probably be to consider the area around Stonehenge as being at the heart of our neolithic life. But recent work being done on a hugely important site at the Ness of Brodgar in Orkney is making historians think again. And in a multidisciplinary new series, BBC2 is sending Neil Oliver, Chris Packham and a veritable passel of archaeologists and engineers over the stormy waters of the Pentland Firth to explore and tell us more.

From the DNA of voles to sea stacks via sophisticated stone monuments – and an unexpected use of seaweed – we’re getting an entirely fresh picture of the ancient Orcadians and how they created a culture that spread to the rest of Britain.


An investigation into how recent archaeological finds on the archipelago indicate that Orkney was the cultural capital of Stone Age Britain and the birthplace of the stone circle cult. Chris Packham uncovers the secrets revealed by the DNA of Orkney's unique vole, Neil Oliver explores tombs and monuments, Shini Somara experiments to discover how ancient Orcadians could have moved giant blocks of stone over rough ground, and Andy Torbet climbs a challenging sea-stack to unlock the story of Orkney's unusual geology.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Neil Oliver
Presenter Chris Packham
Presenter Shini Somara
Presenter Andy Torbet
Executive Producer Rachel Bell
Series Producer Jamie Simpson
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