Skara Brae: An Ancient Egyptian Settlement

This is a thought provoking article and it is up to you to sort fact from fiction.


Ancient Egyptians and the Constellations Part 23

Skara Brae, dating back 3100 – 2600BC, was a settlement in the Orkneys, a small group of islands which lie about twenty miles north of the Scottish mainland.


It was discovered in 1850 after a violent storm had struck the island, ripping away the turf and sand dunes. The settlement was exposed to daylight for the first time in nearly four and a half thousand years.


Situated on the western edge of the largest of the Orkney islands, Mainland, Skara Brae bore the brunt of the storms coming in from the west. It was a harsh environment, the island being generally flat and treeless.


The inhabitants must have been keen to stay there … or perhaps they had no choice.


I propose that the original families had been shipwrecked in a storm, had lost their ship(s) and possessions, and had no means to get off the island. They could not build a seaworthy vessel because there was neither wood nor alternative boat-building material available. Had this been a planned settlement the inhabitants would have brought not only tools, furniture and clothing but also a greater variety of craftsmen.


I also propose that they built the initial settlement at the point where they landed because it was a good look-out position to spot other boats approaching from the west. This could be interpreted in terms of rescue or defence. Moreover it was near the seashore, the main food source for survival. We know from remains found at Skara Brae that their diet included whale, fish, and shell-fish, as well as beef and venison. It sounds most opportune, there being cattle on the island! I would suggest that they were brought to the island by the victims of the ship wreck.


The newcomers had no alternative but to build shelters if they wanted to survive on this windswept island. There being no trees, their only source of raw materials in plentiful supply was stone.


The hieroglyphs are Ancient Egyptian and translate as MER. The meaning of the word Mer is signified by what appears to be a triangle. It is in fact a representation of a pyramid. The Ancient Egyptian word for both “Pyramid” and “Egypt” was “MER”! Clearly the pyramid was synonymous with Egypt.



Notice how the hieroglyph for the letter “M” is a representation of the three main Pyramids at Giza. Also the hieroglyph for the letter “E” is a representation of the Great Pyramid with the shaft leading up from the King’s Chamber. According to Egyptologists these pyramids were not built until around 2650BC … at least 400 years after Skara Brae was founded!

This was a message in stone to let the people of the future know that the founders of Skara Brae came from EGYPT.


They were familiar with the three Pyramids of Giza and could at least write this one word. This is proof that Ancient Egyptian writing had progressed to letters representing sounds, as well as having the pictogram denoting the word, by 3100BC.


It is clear from the excavations of the site that these people were skilled in the use of stone as a building material. The buildings needed to be designed such that they were able to withstand the ferocious storms in the area. They also needed to be insulated against the harsh winters. Moreover, because there was no mortar the people built dry stone walls, a tradition which continues in the UK to this day.




Everything in the houses was necessarily made of stone, including seats, beds and cupboards. The builders even incorporated stone sewers and drains underneath the stone floors so that the people need not venture outside in the harshest of weathers.


All this points to the people of Skara Brae having originated from a highly civilized society.

Furthermore, it was only after these people had arrived at Skara Brae that the stone monuments, circles and mounds, for which the Orkneys and the rest of the UK is famous, began to be erected. It was these people who introduced the arts and sciences to the inhabitants of Britain.


From where did the inhabitants of Skara Brae originate?


The answer lies in the hieroglyph inscription carved into the right-hand side bed in House Seven, pictured above.

A person might be tempted to think that the inscription is Runic, and that the inhabitants of Skara Brae therefore originated in Europe. This interpretation is incorrect.



Further proof of the Ancient Egyptian origins of the people of Skara Brae is to be found in a stone ball which has confounded archaeologists and historians alike. I have coined the name

Pyramid Stone or Pyramid Sphere for it.


Look closely and you will see that the sphere is covered in pyramids radiating uniformly from the centre. Pyramids in 3000BC and in Scotland? Egyptologists would have us believe that the Giza Pyramids in Egypt were built around 2650BC!

This Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Sphere found at Skara Brae is both a calendar and representative of the heavens.


As a calendar it represents a lunar calendar covering a period of six years. There are thirteen lunar months in a year, which over a six year period add up to seventy-eight lunar months. There are seventy-eight pyramids on the Pyramid Sphere. The two inner circles are made up of four and nine respectively, totalling thirteen.


The inner circle of four pyramids could also represent the four phases, or quarters, of the moon during its four week cycle.


The four central pyramids can also be considered in terms of representing the Four Pillars of Heaven. For the uninitiated this meant that the four pillars were holding up the sky. However for those Ancient Egyptians who were initiated into the secrets of the heavens, the Four Pillars of Heaven symbolized the Four Cardinal Points of North, South, East and West.


Another explanation for these central four pyramids is that they represent the sun in its four seasons: they mark the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes when the Sun crosses the equator and renders day and night equal throughout the world, as well as the Summer and Winter Solstices when the sun is furthest from the equator. In this sense the four central pyramids represent a period of

one year.


Working on the assumption that these four central pyramids represent the Sun, then the surrounding circle of nine pyramids could represent the nine planets in orbit around the Sun.


Following on from this reasoning, the next ring of thirteen pyramids would represent the Signs of the Zodiac. It is thought that in ancient times there were originally thirteen signs of the zodiac, rather than the twelve we have today. I propose that the purpose of the Thirteen Sign Zodiac was to identify with the thirteen lunar months in the year. I would suggest that this Lunar Zodiac (another new term that I have coined) ran concurrently with the more traditional Twelve Sign Zodiac which served the purpose of dividing the heavens into equal segments of thirty degrees.


The inhabitants of Skara Brae erected the twelve Stones of Stenness in a perfect circle to represent the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac and eventually thirteen tombs were erected on Mainland Orkney to represent the Lunar Zodiac.



Not only was Skara Brae settled by the Ancient Egyptians, so too was the Knap of Howar.


Two similar houses to those at Skara Brae have been discovered at the Knap of Howar, on the small island of Papa Westray to the north of the Orkneys.


They were contemporary to those at Skara Brae, and also contained evidence of Ancient Egyptian artefacts. These Ancient Egyptian artefacts are in the form of what is now referred to as Unstan Ware Pottery. This pottery, which has a distinctive round base, originated in Ancient Egypt. It is the artefact used to represent the hieroglyph letter “K” and the sound “cu”  as in “cup”.





Grooved Ware Pottery is a further indication that Skara Brae was settled by the Ancient Egyptians.


Although the inhabitants of Skara Brae were skilled in the use of stone, they certainly were not skilled in the art of sculpting or making pottery.


This is evidenced in what is today termed as their Grooved Ware Pottery. This pottery, which originated at Skara Brae, is undoubtedly made and decorated by non-artisans. There was a need for pottery and it was fulfilled in the best way the people knew how.


Had this been an intentionally designed community there would have been artisans among the population.






Interior of House Seven. The dresser was placed opposite the entrance to afford privacy to people either in bed or sitting on the side of the bed. More people could huddle around the elongated hearth during the cold days and nights by having the furniture postioned in this way.

This is considered to be the first building at Skara Brae. When the site was abandoned it was being used as a workroom.

I have coined the name Pyramid Stone or Pyramid Sphere for this Skara Brae ball.







The hieroglyph inscription carved into the right-hand side bed in House Seven.




A typical example of

Skara Brae pottery

The design of the Skara Brae pottery is significant. It intentionally incorporates the hieroglyphs and pictogram for “Mer”, which is translated as both Pyramid and Egypt. In this, the design reflects both an esoteric meaning, and a longing for the homeland.

Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs for MER, translating as both Pyramid and Egypt, were found carved into the stonework at Skara Brae.

The Pyramid Sphere

The Cross within a Circle formed at the centre of the Pyramid Sphere is a symbol of the Precession of the Equinoxes.


Another explanation of the Pyramid Sphere is that in itself it represents the Sun.


I believe that the Skara Brae Pyramid Sphere was intended to encode all of these purposes but that its main purpose was to record their knowledge of the Precession of the Equinoxes.


The Skara Brae Pyramid Sphere

and the Precession of the Equinoxes.









A lot of the pottery discovered at Skara Brae had been deliberately smashed and this has puzzled historians. In fact it was a custom or ceremony of Ancient Egyptian origin. It was called the Ceremony of Breaking the Red Pots. The wailing mourners at a funeral would smash the red, unglazed pottery to rid the deceased of any kind of threat or harm. It was an execration ritual for the protection of the dead. It was also a good way of relieving stress and pent-up emotions!

The Pyramid


A cross within

a Circle

In easy to understand terms the Precession of the Equinoxes is the apparent movement of the heavens. In reality however, the Earth is rotating and the heavens are standing still. The effect of Precession can be seen on a clear night as the constellations apparently move across the sky.


In the bigger picture, the Signs of the Zodiac appear to move across the heavens not only on an annual basis, but also over a period of 25,920 years. This is because over a period of 72 years the stars/constellations appear to move through one degree of their cycle. To move through 360 degrees (the number of degrees in a circle/cycle) it takes 360 x 72 = 25,920 years.


This also explains the apparent cycle of the Pole Stars. Our current Pole Star is Polaris, but two thousand years ago the Pole Star was Alpha Draconis.

This same motif is to be found today on many village crosses today.

A cross within

a Circle (Celtic)

Notice how the original four pyramids of the Pyramid Sphere are retained in the Cross within the Circle, both in the photograph and in the diagrams.

The apparent movement of the Signs of the Zodiac across the sky takes place not only over a period of one year, but also over a period of 25,920 years. The latter is often referred to as Plato’s Great Year. This Great Year is divided into four “Seasons”, each with three “Months”.The apparent movement of the Signs of the Zodiac over the 25,920 year period is referred to as the

Precession of the Equinoxes.

The Ancient Egyptians had full knowledge and understanding of the Precession of the Equinoxes. This is evidenced by the Ancient Egyptian artefact: the Narmer Plate.

As with the ordinary year, the Great Year is divided into Four Seasons, which are defined by the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes and the Summer and Winter Solstices. Within these Four Seasons are contained the Twelve Ages of the Zodiac, and by association, the Precession of the Equinoxes.


We currently live in the Age of Pisces, the Fish, which explains the unusual amount of “fish” references in The New Testament. The previous Age was the Age of Aries, the Ram, which explains the unusual amount of “ram” references in The Old Testament. The Age of Taurus, the Bull, is reflected for example in the religious practices of Minoan Crete.


We will soon be moving into the next Age of the Zodiac.

On 21st December 2012 the Sun will rise at 6:48am to herald in the

New Age of Aquarius.







For more information about the Water World of the Age of Aquarius, click on this sky chart of the Constellation of Aquarius.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the key player in the Age of Aquarius

is a Fish!

The inhabitants of Skara Brae were not only Ancient Egyptians, they were Ancient Egyptian Priest Astronomers.

As Skara Brae was settled in the Age of Taurus, the Bull, a person would expect to find evidence of this astronomical time at the site … probably in the shape of bull’s horns. Such evidence has been discovered in the shape of a stylized bull’s head. This stone artefact, which looks not unlike a gavel, would have been used in ceremonial ritual. I have coined the term Skara Brae Stylized Bull’s Head Gavel or Skara Brae Taurus Stone for it.

Both the Skara Brae Sphere and the Skara Brae Stylized Bull’s Head Gavel or Taurus Stone are symbols of the Precession of the Equinoxes.

The style of architecture suggests that the “Round House” at Skara Brae was built first. The rest at Skara Brae and those at Knap of Howar were built at a later date.


The circular architectural influence was maintained in the rest of the Temple-Houses at Skara Brae as the later ones were built square but with round corners. The Temple-Houses at Knap of Howar were square. This suggests that the settlement at Skara Brae was founded first.


This is a reflection of the architecture in Ancient Egypt, where the earliest houses were round, later ones were rectangular.


The corbelled walls of the Temple-Houses are yet another reflection of Ancient Egyptian architecture.


In Ancient Egypt the people lived on the East Bank of the Nile and buried their dead on the West Bank. For this reason I believe that the farming community lived on the eastern side of Orkney Mainland. Alternatively, there is the possibility that they lived on a separate island altogether.


The engraving on the Stylized Bull’s Head Gavel is significant. Unlike the carving on the bedside in Room Seven the engraving does not constitute Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Rather it encodes the Sacred Knowledge of the Ancient Egyptians, which was known only to the Priests.


As with the Skara Brae Grooved Ware Pottery, the pattern on the Stylized Bull’s Head Gavel is significant and has symbolic meaning. Recorded on this stone object is an example of the Sacred Geometry of the Ancient Egyptians. Initially a person gains a sense of witnessing the Proof of a Theorem … possibly that which was later named after Pythagoras or Euclid.



Also on the Stylized Bull’s Head Gavel, and perhaps not unexpectedly, the Triangle is prominent, as is the Cross. Both are symbols of Precession. In the Mer Triangle of the Ancient Egyptians the sides are in the ratio of 72:100:123. The side 123 is opposite the right angle, while the side 72 is opposite the angle of 36 degrees. The number 72 is the “Sacred Precession Number”, it taking 72 years for the heavens to apparently pass through one degree of its cycle. The right angle or “square” represents one of the four Seasons in the Ages of the Zodiac.





The layout of Skara Brae intentionally outlines the Lotus flower in bud and its leaf. Symbolizing the Tree of Life and Resurrection each are significant motifs used to encrypt the concept of Precession. The symbolic significance of these motifs was known only to the Priests.

The Tree of Life represented the Axis Munde around which the heavens appear to revolve. The Axis Munde is the World Pillar, the link between the terrestrial and celestial worlds. A representation of this World Pillar is to be found lying on the floor in House Seven, significantly the same house where the Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs were carved.


In addition, the bodies of two older women which had been placed in a sarcophagus, were discovered buried beneath the sarcophagus bed at the right hand side of House Seven. This is the same sarcophagus bed upon which the Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs had been carved.


To the right of the World Pillar in the photograph below can be seen a square-hewn stone. This is called an Ashlar. This is the modern equivalent of the Latin word “axilla” which translates as “Axis”. Like the flat column in House Seven, the Ashlar was also a symbol of the World Pillar.


The importance of House Seven  at Skara Brae is evident, and as such it would have been occupied by the Chief Priest. Moreover it would have been here that the ritual ceremonies of Ancient Egypt would have been re-enacted.


Several years ago in South Australia, Freemasonic Temples … they are now called Lodge Rooms … were open to the public. The layout of the Freemasonic Temples which I visited were not unlike the layout of this room pictured at Skara Brae!



A representation of the World Pillar is to be seen at the left of the central hearth in House Seven. The square-hewn Ashlar also represents the World Pillar. Significantly this is the same house where the Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs were carved and the bodies of two older women were discovered in a sarcophagus beneath the sarcophagus bed at the right hand side.

In remote Ancient Egypt it was the Priests who were also the astronomers. The Sacred Knowledge which they guarded so well, and re-enacted in their funeral ritual, was the Astronomical Knowledge of the Precession of the Equinoxes. As previously mentioned this was the purpose of the Standing Stones of Stenness.


Similarly at Skara Brae it was the Priests who were also the Astronomers. It was at Skara Brae (and surrounding areas) that the priest astronomers incorporated, developed and adapted their distinctive Ancient Egyptian Sacred Knowledge, heritage and culture to fit the harsh surroundings.


At Skara Brae the houses were built like a warren of tombs, with the beds being replicas of stone sarcophagi. If this were not the intention then the front panel of the bed would not have been there. It would be warmer lying in front of the fire without the front panel. Even having to just about crawl through the doorways of the houses gave the impression of entering a tomb. In fact the later Maes Howe Tomb is reminiscent of the Skara Brae houses.


As only the Priests could read and write then it follows that only a Priest carved out the Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs in Room Seven.


Even the corbelled walls of the buildings of Skara Brae reek of Ancient Egyptian architecture, let alone the fact that they were built entirely of stone.


Furthermore the layout of Skara Brae is significant. The buildings were not randomly placed. The village was specifically designed in the form of a leaf and a flower bud symbolic of both the Tree of Life and the Lotus.


Click on the picture belowfor the sacred and astronomical meaning of the Tree of Life and the Lotus.


“Any triangle whose sides are in the ratio of 3:4:5 contains a right angle” … Euclid.

The Circle, the third symbol of Precession and also a part of the Sacred Geometry, is interconnected with both the Cross (as shown above) and the Triangle.


When constructing a triangle with sides of specific length or ratio, the construction of circles is inherent in the procedure and a  compass is required to draw the arcs. Where the arcs bisect, they are the points of the triangle. Most readers will remember having constucted a triangle in this manner at school. Of course the Ancient Egyptians need not have used metal compasses as we do, they may have been made of  a combination of papyrus and rope/twine.


A further explanation for the grid lines is that they represent the celestial lines of latitude and longitude on the sky globe. This explanation might at first sound improbable but … it was the Ancient Egyptians who discovered Precession, mapped out the Constellations and divided the heavens into segments and it has already been demonstrated that the Ancient Egyptians who settled at Skara Brae were astronomers. Consequently this apparently illogical explanation is an odds on certainty.




To discover more about the Ancient Egyptians and the Constellations click on the Sky Globe.




The grid lines on the Stylized Bull’s Head Gavel could represent the celestial lines of latitude and longitude of the sky globe.

The Skara Brae Priest Astronomers


Except for the World Pillar, the layout of the interior of the houses at Skara Brae is virtually identical. However what was previously considered to be a stone dresser (top centre) is in fact an altar, which is itself symbolic of an Ancient Egyptian Temple and its inherent cosmic meaning. The top slab of the altar and the double central column forms the letter T, the Ancient Egyptian “Tau”, which represents the Sacred Gateway, Portal or Opening. It is through this Sacred Gateway that the Sun rises to herald in the Dawn of a New Age of the Zodiac.




It is important  not to lose sight of the fact that Taus originated in Ancient Egypt. They represent Temples, which are Gateways for the Sun at the Dawn of a New Age of the Zodiac. As temples they are used to track the movements of the Sun during both the ordinary year and Great Year, to predict Solstices and Equinoxes. In the case of the Great Year they are used to track and predict the Dawn of the next Age of the Zodiac in the Precession of the Equinoxes.

When Sacred Taus are joined together horizontally they represent a temple. In Ancient Egypt huge columns were erected in just this fashion. Henges in Britain are Sacred Taus joined together, very often in a circular design, to form a temple. A Double Tau forms a Dolmen. A Triple Tau later in history came to represent the

Temple of Jerusalem.


The hieroglyph for “Temple” at the top of the Narmer Plate. Notice how “Tau” is formed in the space above the temple.

Notice the Tau formed by the top slab and double central column of the Altars at Skara Brae.

The temple at Karnak, though apparently later than Skara Brae, is a good example of how Taus are joined to form a temple.

The Tau is represented by the letter “T”. These hieroglyphs translate as “Sacred Opening”

A Dolmen is formed by a Double Tau.

Several Double Taus are evident in the Skara Brae Altar.

The Triple Tau, later in history, came to represent the Temple of Jerusalem.

The Triple Tau is clearly evident in the Skara Brae Altar.

The layout of the later Mithraic Temples is not unlike the layout inside the houses at Skara Brae. The ceremonies in both Temples concerned the Precession of the Equinoxes, with specific reference to the Dawn of the Age of Taurus.

Click on this picture of the Narmer Plate for more information on the origin of Taus in remote Ancient Egypt. The Narmer Plate is an Ancient Egyptian artefact which commemorates the Dawn of the Age of Taurus.




Skara Brae is generally thought of in terms of it being a farming community. Nothing could be further from the truth. Skara Brae was a Commune of Priest Astronomers whose followers were initiated into the Sacred Knowledge of the Ancient Egyptians at the complex. The farming community would have been located in a separate village, probably on the eastern side of the island.

The “Houses” of Skara Brae were “Temples” dedicated to the Sacred Knowledge of the Ancient Egyptians, concerning the Precession of the Equinoxes. Today, because they are not on a grand scale we might refer to them as “chapels”.


The passageways and doorways leading to the “temples” were only about a metre high so that the Priests or Candidates had to stoop in a bowed position … signifying humility.


The entrance area to the “temples” or “chapels”, just inside the doorway, is the Ante-Chapel. To the left upon entering, a portion of the room is sectioned off. This was most probably the Robing Room where the candidate was prepared for his initiations into the Sacred Mysteries.


Beyond the Ante-Chapel is the Chapel Nave which is flanked by stone benches or sarcophagi. The sarcophagus on the right was probably used as an Ordeal Pit. This was where the Candidate lay enclosed in the dark while a fire blazed in the hearth only a few feet away. By enduring the ordeal in the closed sarcophagus, the candidate was following in the footsteps of Osiris. The Priest Astronomers would have sat on the opposite bench.


The hearth can also be considered in terms of an Ordeal Slab upon which Candidates were initiated into successively higher degrees of Sacred Knowledge.


Alongside the hearth lies the World Pillar, and at the head of the hearth lies the Ashlar. I wonder, are there any carvings on the undersides of these objects?


Beyond the Chapel Nave is the Sanctuary, the most sacred part of the Temple. It is here that the Altar is situated. The “Stone Things” of Skara Brae, for example the Pyramid Sphere and the Taurus Stone, would have been kept on the Altar, close at hand for use in the ritual ceremonies.



The Temple Complex of Skara Brae

The Chapel Nave is flanked by stone benches or sarcophagi. The Sanctuary contains the Altar. The World Pillar and Ashlar lie next to the hearth. Just within the doorway, not pictured, is the Ante-Chapel.

The layout of the Mithraic Temples is not unlike that of the Skara Brae Temples. In this Mithraic temple at Carrawburgh, the Hearth and Ordeal Pit are in the Ante-Chapel.



The Knap of Howar: An Ancient Egyptian Settlement

An example of Unstan Ware Pottery used by the inhabitants of Knap of Howar. The design is Ancient Egyptian.

“Homage to Hrak”


“Homage to Ra of the Horizon”


“Homage to the Rising Sun”

This is a particularly interesting example to dislpay the letter “K” in Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs. Notice the “Cross” symbol, and remember how the “Cross and the Circle” together symbolize Precession.  Notice also how Ra is represented by a severed head … in this lies the origin of the practice of cutting off heads, and the incorporation of severed heads into art and architecture, mythology and religion. Finally, there is the very strong possibility that the cairns and mounds of the Orkneys were  built in the form of Hrak, the Rising Sun. However I believe it more appropriate that they were built in the form of the Setting Sun. This is because in Ancient Egypt the Dead were buried on the West Bank of the Nile where the Sun set … and Great Britain was considered to be “The Land of the Westerners/The Land of the Dead”. The Ancient Egyptian Priest Astronomers in the Orkneys were paying

Homage to the Setting Sun. Furthermore, Mainland Orkney came to be considered by them, in their isolation, as the Land of the Westerners, the Land of the Dead.

These are examples of Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics which incorporate the predecessors of the Unstan Ware Pottery, to represent the letter “K” and the sound “cu” as in “cup”.

Mainland Orkney: The Land of the Dead

There remains no room for doubt that the Ancient Egyptians settled in the Orkneys. Initially I proposed that they had been shipwrecked and I still maintain this.


I believe that they were on a voyage of exploration and discovery. The Ancient Egyptians were very preoccupied with the “Land of the Westerners” ( the Land of the Dead) and set out to discover its location. They brought with them wheat, barley, sheep and long-horned cattle … their staple diet.


Clearly there were a number of Priest Astronomers on board. Their main purpose during the voyage was that of navigating by the stars.


I suspect that these Ancient Egyptians were on course, navigating and charting the coastline of what we now refer to as Great Britain, the “Land of the Westerners”.


Unfortunately they ran into a severe storm off the western coast of the Orkneys, lost most of their supplies, and were forced to remain where they came ashore.


These Ancient Egyptian explorers nevertheless fulfilled their obligation to their motherland, building a new civilization in the Land of the Westerners with the knowledge of the arts and sciences they brought with them.


For them, Mainland Orkney was the Land of the Westerners, the

Land of the Dead.


Based on the Taurus Stone, I would date the ship wreck and the arrival of the

Ancient Egyptians at Skara Brae, at earlier than 3100BC.

In fact closer to one thousand years earlier … at least 4000BC.




Email Me

Subtle references to Freemasonry are intentional


Copyright Audrey Fletcher

Adelaide, South Australia

2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007



Ancient Egyptians and the Constellations



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This is interesting true or false. It is only by stretching our assumptions that we find new evidence. kb