• The hills of Hoy, viewed over the Stenness Loch.
  • And-so-its-farewell-from-us-all-for-another-year
  • st14
  • trencht
  • Brynn, the site dog. He too is sad as he senses the end of the dig is night.
The hills of Hoy, viewed over the Stenness Loch.

Dig Diary Extra – Thursday, August 25, 2016

Day Thirty-Nine The season has shifted – goodbye Ness of Brodgar Over the past days of final planning and section drawing, sandbagging, tyre-rolling and tarping, we’ve had the occasional pleasure of migrating geese flying across the site. The season has…


Dig Diary – Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Day Thirty-Eight See you next year . . . The end, the absolute end, has arrived. For this year at least. Today we gave the last tours to some of the many thousands of visitors who have thronged the site…


Time for some 3D . . . Structure Fourteen

Structure 14, Ness of Brodgar 2016 by Dr Hugo Anderson-Whymark on Sketchfab


. . . and Trench T

Trench T, Ness of Brodgar 2016 by Dr Hugo Anderson-Whymark on Sketchfab

Brynn, the site dog. He too is sad as he senses the end of the dig is night.

Dig Diary – Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Day Thirty-Seven Post-ex during the dig . . . One of the most popular members of the Ness team is Bryn the site dog. A handsome Border Collie, Bryn regularly patrols the site and is an absolute pushover for a…

Structure 1: The precious rocks used in the buildings need protection over the winter.

Dig Diary – Monday, August 22, 2016

Day Thirty-Six An unexpected discovery The sky over the Ness today was grey and overcast and so, unfortunately, was the mood down below. It’s partly a hangover (non-alcoholic) from the frantic endeavours of the second open day, yesterday, and partly a…


Dig Diary – Sunday, August 21, 2016

Day Thirty-Five Thank you all . . . Sorry folks, there’s no written diary today as we were just too busy with almost 1,200 visitors to the open day. But, we would like to thank all those who assisted in making this such…

A fantastic image of star trails over the nearby Ring of Brodgar, taken by one of our regular diggers, Chris Marshall.

Dig Diary – Thursday, August 18, 2016

Day Thirty-Four Activity on the Ness extended by new radiocarbon dates Today was a day for visitors –  not just our very valued folk here to take tours, but for people with specialised interests. This includes, of course, the BBC…

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 19.04.51

Dig Diary Extra – Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Trench X in three dimensions As mentioned in today’s dig diary, Dr Hugo Anderson-Whymark has been back on site today and has created this 3D model of Trench X. This three-metre-wide slot trench was a new addition to the site…

Trench T structural remains.

Dig Diary – Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Day Thirty-Three Prehistoric seaweed? Maybe. But there’s definitely more art… Today we have a mysterious object – a very mysterious object. We told you recently of Jenny’s excellent efforts in showing that the paint workshop area in Structure Ten definitely…

Kare Sharp records some of the new art discovered outside the blocked-up southern entrance to Structure Twelve.

Dig Diary – Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Day Thirty-Two There’s art in those stones… We’re going to start today with heartiest congratulations to two of our stalwarts. Claire and Mike have toiled long and hard in Structure Ten, for many years, but they have been married for…

Neil Oliver chats with Nick about developments since his last visit.

Dig Diary – Monday, August 15, 2016

Day Thirty-One Reusing a stone circle? We are worried about the BBC. The team filming the Ness excavations arrived in force this morning and followed Nick around, bombarding him with questions. By midday they had finished, packed up and departed…

The fossilised sea urchin.

Dig Diary – Friday, August 12, 2016

Day Thirty The Ness is alive, with the sound of ‘chambered’ . . . The Ness of Brodgar is suffused with a rosy glow today and it has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with what passes for summer weather. It…

The Cyclone (program) 3D model of Structure One and part of Structure Eleven.

Dig Diary Special – Thursday, August 11, 2016

Getting to grips with geomatics Although to most visitors of the Ness of Brodgar we might appear like either brightly-coloured or darkly-tinted lumps of waterproofs, crouched down in tiny corners to catch less wind, there is more to our stories…

The cup-marked stone from Structure Ten.

Dig Diary – Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Day Twenty-Eight A veritable ‘Day of Stone’ Today was a day of solid, undiluted archaeology. As site director Nick describes it, with capital letter emphasis, a Day of Stone. You will be glad to hear that here will be no…

One of the dressed sandstone blocks from Structure Ten. What will its hidden face reveal? Watch this space.

Dig Diary — Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Day Twenty-Seven What lies beneath Structure Ten’s sandstone blocks? Sorry folks, we’re starting with the weather again, but for a particular reason. Today is windy and cold. The weather-beating received by diggers yesterday (and “beating” is the operative word) has…

Giles removes a decorated stone from the vestiges of Structure Eleven.

Dig Diary – Monday, August 8, 2016

Day Twenty-Six Decorating the stones as the walls were built . . . If any dear readers are fed up hearing about the weather, rest assured, we are fed up living with it. The wind howled and howled today, rushing…


Dig Diary – Friday, August 5, 2016

Day Twenty-Five Astounding generosity and a daunting discovery . . . We have two huge events to report today. The first is the utterly amazing response to our appeal for help with the repair of our ruined car park, soaked…

Today's poor weather failed to dampen Mai's enthusiasm as she revealed more of the elusive building under the midden mound in Trench T.

Dig Diary – Thursday, August 4, 2016

Day Twenty-Four Some things becomes clearer, others don’t . . . Resilience is the hallmark of many archaeologists. It has to be, as a life in a muddy trench, while the wind and rain howl about your head, is a…


Dig Diary Extra — Zoom in and get up close to Trench P (and not forgetting Trench X)

Ness of Brodgar Trench P On Saturday, we posted an aerial image created by Professor Scott Pike, of Willamette University, using his drone flying above Trench P. Taking a series of individual aerial shots, Scott compiled them into one large…

Sampling at the north end of Structure Eight. Located through a surface relating to possible primary flagging at this end of the structure, these deposits are potentially significant for understanding the early development of the building.

Dig Diary Special – Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Day Twenty-Three Back in the lab with geoarchaeologist Jo Hi everyone. It’s Jo McKenzie here – as seen in some of the blog posts from the first two weeks of this season; ten hectic days of talking, planning, and of course,…

Sponging the tarps - the standard morning warm-up on the Ness.

Dig Diary – Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Day Twenty-Two Big buildings and another very big beast So much has happened today that it’s difficult to know where to start. Perhaps the beginning would be best and, as usual, that refers to the weather. Glory of glories, it…

Overview of Structure One, with Structure Twenty-One disappearing out of the top right of the trench. The central 'plaza' area is in the top left.

Dig Diary – Monday, August 1, 2016

Day Twenty-One Watched by a drone above . . . Somehow you never imagine, when embarking on a career in archaeology, that the regulations of the Civil Aviation Authority will ever be of interest. But they are. Oh yes, they…

Some of the 1,000-plus visitors to the open day today.

Dig Diary – Sunday, July 31, 2016

Day Twenty The year’s first open day What a day! We were promised mainly dry weather but the wind blew and the showers just kept on coming – but still it didn’t seem to deter the number of visitors. By…

Open Day time-lapse video