Page last updated at 13:59 GMT, Saturday, 12 April 2008 14:59 UK

Orkney site marks space race date

The new stone
The Skara Brae settlement was inhabited 5,000 years ago

One of Scotland's most famous Neolithic sites - Skara Brae in Orkney - has commemorated a defining moment in the space race.

The pathway to the prehistoric village is lined with carved stones that form a time trail of major events in history.

A new stone was unveiled on Saturday, marking the anniversary of Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin orbiting the Earth on 12 April, 1961.

Despite bad weather, a number of locals turned out for the event.

Historic Scotland created the pathway to emphasise changes which have taken place since the settlement was inhabited 5,000 years ago.

Doreen Grove, Historic Scotland's head of access and understanding, said: "Uri Gagarin's mission was a defining moment in human history.

"At Historic Scotland we are delighted to commemorate an event of such importance by including it in the Skara Brae timeline."

The idea for the new stone was suggested by Russian Alexander Korobko, who visited in 2006 in search of his Orcadian roots.

Mr Korobko said: "I am delighted that Historic Scotland is commemorating the space flight of Uri Gagarin at Skara Brae."

Tatiana Danilova, trade marketing executive at VisitScotland for Central and Eastern Europe, said: "Russia is an important emerging tourism market for Scotland, thanks to its growing economy.

"I hope that the stone will be something Russian visitors enjoy seeing and will talk about when they return home."


SEE ALSO
Top 10 'treasured places' named
26 Oct 07 |  Scotland
Timeline: Space flight
02 Oct 07 |  Science/Nature

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