Tomb of the Otters

Discovered in September 2010,  this tomb is quarried out of solid bedrock and is the only tomb of its kind. Evidence of Otter activity and Otter bones within the tomb gave rise to it being named 'Tomb of the Otters'.


Large quantities of Otter spraint and Otter bones were found inside the tomb, at many different levels, suggesting that it must have been left open - thus allowing Otters to come and go as they pleased.


Only one of the six chambers and the central passageway has been excavated - so five chambers remain untouched with human remains from over 5000 years ago.


Ancient DNA is being carried out on 17 samples by the University of Copenhagen. The study includes many other samples from Europe but the samples from the Tomb are the only ones being analysed from the UK.


A guided tour of the tomb is an experience unlike any other in Orkney today as it gives the visitor a unique oppportunity to reflect on the lives of people who lived in Orkney during this Neolithic period.