As 1999 drew to a close, Orkney's
archaeology continued to be at the forefront of local, national
and international news.
In early December 1999, it was confirmed that the
Heart of Neolithic Orkney - the area of the West Mainland surrounding
the Ring of Brodgar - had been added to the list of UNESCO World
At the time, the long-awaited proclamation made the area one of 700 sites across the world, and one of only three Scottish sites to gain this global recognition.
In one day, some of
Orkney's best known archaeological treasures were placed on a par
with internationally-recognised monuments such as Stonehenge and
the Pyramids of Egypt.
What is a World Heritage Site?
World Heritage list is specifically to identify and protect sites
of "outstanding universal value," ensuring they are protected
and appreciated for many years to come.
To become a World Heritage Site, the governments
of the relevant country must submit an application to the World
Heritage Committee. This 21-member committee then considers the
site's merits, according to their own specific criteria. If the
site is deemed worthy it is added to the global list.