• DCP_1408
  • A rather bedragled Nick tries to smile through the teeth of the storm as he enthuses to the OAS membership.
  • museumness
  • Structure One (bottom left), Structure 12 (right) and Structure Eight (top left) with Structures Nine, Eleven and Twenty-Five nestled in between.
  • Antonia discusses Jenny's latest discovery of art on the wall of Structure Eleven.
  • The stone box in Structure Twelve reveals its secrets to Seb.
  • Roy waxes lyrical to an entranced audience on the scaffold platform.
DCP_1408

Where it all began . . .

Trawling though my photograph archive (while looking for something entirely different) I came across the pictures of the discovery on the Ness that started it all! A large, notched stone slab had…

A rather bedragled Nick tries to smile through the teeth of the storm as he enthuses to the OAS membership.

Dig director in Texas on lecture tour

The Ness of Brodgar excavation director was back in the USA in April, on a lecture tour brought about by last year’s article in National Geographic magazine. Nick Card, of the UHI…

museumness

Art and artefacts on show in Stromness

This summer, artefacts from the Ness of Brodgar will form a major new exhibition, which opens this weekend at the Stromness Museum. Beautifully polished stone maceheads, axes and carved stone balls…

Structure One (bottom left), Structure 12 (right) and Structure Eight (top left) with Structures Nine, Eleven and Twenty-Five nestled in between.

2015 will see first eight-week excavation on the Ness

Thanks to public support and fundraising, this year’s excavation at the Ness of Brodgar has been extended from six weeks to eight. Since work on the Neolithic complex began in…

The carved stone ball from the Ness

The carved stone ball from the Ness

A 3d photogrammetry model, by Hugo Anderson-Whymark, of the carved stone ball found at the Ness of Brodgar excavation site by Molly Bond on August 7, 2013.

Antonia discusses Jenny's latest discovery of art on the wall of Structure Eleven.

Dig Diary – Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Day Twenty-Seven Done for another year That’s it, folks. With great sadness we have to say that this is the last dig diary of the 2014 season at the Ness….

The stone box in Structure Twelve reveals its secrets to Seb.

Dig Diary – Monday, August 18, 2014

Day Twenty-Six Appeal for volunteers We have job opportunities today, very rare ones, which only occur just once a year. Yes, it is time to think again about the job…

Roy waxes lyrical to an entranced audience on the scaffold platform.

Dig Diary – Sunday, August 17, 2014

Day Twenty-five Wow, what a day! The Ness always looks at its happiest when there are visitors around and today (our Open Day) they came in droves. It was nice…

The Structure Fourteen team compare notes as the site moves into final recording mode.

Dig Diary – Thursday, August 14, 2014

Day Twenty-four Farewell to the Willamettes Sadly, today is the last day for the Willamettes, that intrepid bunch of students from deepest darkest Oregon led by their Professor, Scott Pike….

Jo and Graham reveal the standing stone stump at the bottom of Trench T.

Dig Diary – Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Day Twenty-three A day of fantastic finds! Today has seen the most fantastic finds emerge from the soils and midden of the Ness. Not that this is in any way…

The two standing stones that flank the new entrance to Structure Twelve.

Dig Diary – Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Day Twenty-Two ‘I bet that’s a standing stone’ Let’s wind back to the beginning of this year’s dig, when site director Nick and Structure Twelve supervisor, Jim, were standing musing…

Jo McKenzie removes a micromorph sample from the hearth in Structure One.

Dig Diary – Monday, August 11, 2014

Day Twenty-One Something special . . . We promised you in the last blog that something special might be happening soon. Well, it has only half-happened, so today we have…

The pink team from Structure Fourteen.

Dig Diary – Friday, August 8, 2014

Day Twenty This is the end of busy week four at the Ness and, horror of horrors, there are only two weeks left of the 2014 season. There is no…

Trench P overview.

Dig Diary – Thursday, August 7, 2014

Day Nineteen We have a real treat for you today. On a wonderful, steady breeze and with the sun streaming down, Hugo launched the “Flying Mattress” into the air once…

The walls in the area south of Structure One (top left). Structure Eleven (top centre), Structure Twelve (bottom right) and central standing stone (bottom centre).

Dig Diary – Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Day Eighteen This is day two of the diary pottery special – largely because the Ness is being pounded, at the minute, by heavy rain (as Lorna laments below) and…

Initial clean of Structure Eight after the covers were removed from its north end.

Dig Diary – Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Day Seventeen Today was pottery day at the Ness. Aren’t you lucky? Okay, we’re biased, but those who moan about yet another pottery sherd emerging from the midden to add…

Structure One from Hugo's polecam. The southern, original, entrance is in the foreground, with the later eastern entrance on the right.

Dig Diary – Monday, August 4, 2014

Day Sixteen Structure One has been primped and polished to within an inch of its life today and is looking beautiful. Hugo took more excellent photographs of it using his…

Professor Mark Edmonds clears away the last vestiges of entrance infill to reveal the spectacular paving slab in Structure Ten.

Dig Diary – Friday, August 1, 2014

Day Fifteen You may have heard of Skaill knives – those flakes of beach cobble used as throwaway blades and relatively common in Orkney, but not thus far at the…

Jan, Claire and Mark removing the last of the deliberate infill of the entrance to Structure Ten.

Dig Diary – Thursday, July 31, 2014

Day Fourteen This is something of a novelty. We do not often discuss human bone for the simple reason that it is rarely found on Neolithic sites like the Ness….

Trench T, clearly showing the rubble "collar" between the two revetments.

Dig Diary – Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Day Thirteen Okay, we have to admit it. Over the past few days there has been a tendency to stifle a yawn when Trench T is mentioned. Those vast, empty…

Andy and Erica define the construction cut around the hearth in Structure One.

Dig Diary – Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Day Twelve One of the more unusual stones to be found at the Ness is pitchstone – that hard, black, glass-like volcanic material which originates 400 kilometres to the south-west,…

Dan orchestrates the removal of floor deposits in Structure One.

Dig Diary – Monday, July 28, 2014

Day Eleven A new group of volunteers and students arrived on site today, many of them old faces from previous years but all clearly excited at the prospect of another…

antoniolarge

Dig Diary – Friday, July 25, 2014

Day Ten We will start with an update on the activities of our very distinguished visitors from Spain. Professors Mimi Bueno and Rodrigo de Balbin Behrmann are the foremost experts…

Structure Twelve and the central midden area from Hugo's kite camera.

Dig Diary – Thursday, July 24, 2014

Day Nine We must admit it. Many of us have listened to the stories of colleagues who have worked in wonderful sunny countries like Greece or Jordan, Italy or Portugal…

Just in front of Amanda and Jan is the edge of the large slab that forms the threshold to the new, wide entrance to Structure Ten.

Dig Diary – Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Day Eight Today was pottery day at the Ness, and, oh what pottery. The prize find came from Hugo’s Structure Fourteen and from a location which we have mentioned a…

Hugo demonstrates his skill as a flint knapper to an enthralled audience from the excavation club.

Dig Diary – Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Day Seven A busy day and a hot one. The sun has sizzled down on the Ness from early morning and now, as we prepare to finish off the day,…

The Willamettes arrive from the USA and are straight into the HS induction.

Dig Diary – Monday, July 21, 2014

Day Six Warm welcomes this morning to the students from Willamette University, Oregon, who have joined us for another year with their Professor, Scott Pike. Scott is a veteran of…

Jenna revealed more dressed stone in the pier in Structure Twelve.

Dig Diary – Friday, July 18, 2014

Day Five It’s great to be back. Not that we have been anywhere in terms of the archaeology. The work at the Ness has carried on and we will give…

The-baulks-are-removed-in-the-CMA-to-the-south-of-St-1

Dig Diary – Thursday, July 17, 2014

Day Four Today at the Ness is the perfect example of Orkney’s eccentric and ever-changing weather. It started bright and breezy in the early morning, but descended into dirty clouds,…

Archaeology everywhere – National Geographic on the Ness
The yellow clay floor of Structure 14 is revealed again.

Dig Diary – Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Day Three Trench T was opened today, and in remarkably fast order. One minute it was wrapped in its winter sleep, and the next minute it lay exposed and shivering…

The big spring clean starts in Structure Twelve.

Dig Diary – Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Day Two After the excitement and heavy manual labour of yesterday, Day Two is usually characterised by just heavy manual labour. The metamorphosis of the Ness from black-shrouded ancient to…

The wraps are off to reveal Structure One.

Dig Diary – Monday, July 14, 2014

Day One Welcome to the Ness of Brodgar for another season of the most fantastic archaeology in Northern Europe. Over the next six weeks, our daily dig diary will keep…