Skara Brae is a Neolithic settlement that is located on the largest island in Scotland's Orkney archipelago.
The site was first discovered in 1850. An irregular knoll called Skara Brae was hit by a heavy storm which stripped it enough to expose the outline of a village consisting of several small houses without roofs.
The excavation was incomplete in the 1800s and it was not until the 1920s that the hidden city was secured as a site of importance.
Radiocarbon dating in the 1970s revealed that the settlement was from the late Neolithic Period between 3200 BC and 2200 BC. The settlement had been inhabited for 600 years.
Skara Brae is Europe's most complete Neolithic settlement and is older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids.
After the final excavation was complete, Skara Brae consisted of eight dwellings linked together by low, covered passages. The walls of the structure still remained standing and the alleyways were constructed with their original stone slabs.
Each dwelling was about 430 square feet with a large room containing a stone hearth for cooking and heating. There were stone-built pieces of furniture inside each dwelling that included beds and cupboards. The settlers also had a primitive sewer system with drains that flushed into the ocean. Archaeologists estimate that the population of the settlement would have been 50 - 100 at a time.
Sand had covered the settlement for thousands of years enabling it to be incredibly well-preserved. Because the city has been excellently preserved, it has been nicknamed the "Scottish Pompeii."