Erecting the Stones

To move and then erect a standing stone would have taken an immense effort for the Neolithic people of Orkney.  The stones would first have been quarried from a local cliff or hillside location and then brought to the site.  This was likely done by dragging the stones on wooden rollers, a job for many people over many days or weeks depending on how far they had to drag the stones. Once on site the stones would have to be worked into the upright position you see today and secured using stone wedges or chocks so that they did not topple over.  You can see how effective the chocking was on the broken stone here. The chocks were placed perpendicular to the main stone and thus provided lateral support at the base. Together with clearing the ground, and digging the ditch the construction of a site like the Ring of Brodgar was no mean feat. It has been suggested that the very task of building the monument may have been as important as the finished thing. It is also possible that this work acted to reinforce the significance of the community.

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