The pyramids of Egypt may have been inspired by a group of
builders on the Scottish island of Orkney, according to an academic.
Dr Robert Lomas, of the University of Bradford, believes that
complex construction techniques were developed on Orkney more than
1,000 years before the Egyptians used similar ideas.
He said skills used on the islands from 3800 BC were extremely
The Egyptians heard of the ideas and copied their techniques
after they spread across Europe.
Dr Lomas said: "These people seem to have been led by a group of
astronomer priests who passed on their knowledge to pilgrims all
"Unfortunately, although they were intelligent, they had not
developed any type of writing that we are able to read so their
discoveries have been forgotten.
"We can see what they did but have to experiment to find out how
they did it."
At Maes Howe on the Orkney islands - a chambered tomb built in
around 3000 BC - the builders devised a standard unit of length by
taking detailed readings from the movement of sun and stars.