• Pits-and-planning-in-Trench-T
  • Jo McKenzie, our micro morphologist, takes more samples in the south end of Structure Eight.
  • Andy and Callum freshen up the floors in the eastern half of Structure One.
  • A sea of paperwork consumes the Structure Fourteen team.
  • Open Day time-lapse video
  • Hugo, one of our site supervisors and aerial photographer par excellence, also exhibited his flint-knapping skills.
  • What a difference a day makes — the site bathed in sunshine!

Dig Diary – Thursday, July 30, 2015

Day Nineteen Midden pits . . . in the midden We’ll concentrate today on Trench T — that long excavation on the far side of the house, Lochview, which heads…

Jo McKenzie, our micro morphologist, takes more samples in the south end of Structure Eight.

Dig Diary – Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Day Eighteen Today was rather brutal — that’s the only word for it. It didn’t rain (much) but the wind started strong and got a lot stronger. The Ness is a…

Andy and Callum freshen up the floors in the eastern half of Structure One.

Dig Diary – Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Day Seventeen In search of the elusive Twenty-Three For Structure Fourteen the end is nigh, or so we are told. This would be a momentous event because the complexity of the Ness of…

A sea of paperwork consumes the Structure Fourteen team.

Dig Diary – Monday, July 27, 2015

Day Sixteen Glory fades? Not on the Ness . . . After the excitement of yesterday’s Open Day, calm has descended on the Ness today. Unchanged, however, is the huge number…

Open Day time-lapse video

Open Day time-lapse video

Hugo Anderson-Whymark’s time-lapse video showing part of Sunday’s Open Day at the Ness excavation site.

Hugo, one of our site supervisors and aerial photographer par excellence, also exhibited his flint-knapping skills.

Dig Diary Extra – Sunday, July 26, 2015

Open Day Today was our first Open Day of the season at the Ness, and what a day it was. To everyone’s surprise the Orkney weather played ball and, although…

What a difference a day makes — the site bathed in sunshine!

Dig Diary – Friday, July 24, 2015

Day Fifteen Preparing for the open day It is a lovely day today, so let’s get on with the archaeology. As regular readers will know, many stone roof tiles have been…

Looking superb after a light initial wash — the polished stone axe from Structure One.

Dig Diary – Thursday, July 23, 2015

Day Fourteen Windswept, but interesting Well, there is precipitation; there is horizontal precipitation and there is wind-assisted, horizontal precipitation. Today we had the wind-assisted variety and it made for a most…

Trench T bathed in sunshine.

Dig Diary – Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Day Thirteen Oh, it’s such a perfect day . . . It has been the strangest day. There has been no precipitation and nothing to dim the high spirits, if…

Daily activities and resource use in Neolithic Orkney: microarchaeology at the Ness of Brodgar

Daily activities and resource use in Neolithic Orkney: microarchaeology at the Ness of Brodgar

A lecture on microarchaeology at the Ness of Brodgar by Dr Lisa-Marie Shillito, of the University of Edinburgh, at the 2015 Archaeological Research in Progress (ARP) conference, Saturday, May 30,…

Sam and Cathy prepare a burnt area for archaeomagnetic sampling in Structure Eight.

Dig Diary – Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Day Twelve Raising an eyebrow . . . We haven’t said much about Trench T yet — the one on the far side of the house. That is because it has…

The Willamette contingent arrive to blue skies.

Dig Diary – Monday, July 20, 2015

Day Eleven Decorated stone and the Willamettes Let’s start with the weather. The coarse and blustery wind of this afternoon is now accompanied by pelting rain or, as we prefer…

Vertical view of the ever-photogenic Structure Twelve — if only the East wall hadn't been robbed out.

Dig Diary Extra – Sunday, July 19, 2015

The excavation of Structure Twelve A short video compiled from pictures showing the various stages of the excavation of Structure Twelve. A stunning building when first constructed — utilising carved…


Dig Diary Extra – Saturday, July 18, 2015

The site from above . . . Ness of Brodgar Excavation Site Yesterday, we showcased some of the superb photographs captured by Dr Hugo Anderson-Whymark, using his kite camera —  the…


Ness of Brodgar on BBC Radio Scotland

The Ness of Brodgar excavation featured on this morning’s BBC Radio Scotland programme Out of Doors. Click here to access (available for 29 days, from today).

An overview of the main trench, looking north-west towards the Ring of Brodgar.

Dig diary – Friday, July 17, 2015

Day Ten Proof the sky is blue, sometimes . . . Once again apologies for the weather, which has stopped play for today — it’s just too treacherous for diggers,…

Alice teases another pot spread out from the central midden area.

Dig Diary – Thursday, July 16, 2015

Day Nine Good news and bad . . . It seems to have become traditional to begin with the weather, so we are happy to report that today has been…

Anne and Roy delicately recover the decorated pot.

Dig Diary – Wednesday, July 15

Day Eight We’re working in sunshine . . . Today is beautifully sunny with balmy breezes and everyone is in a good mood. There is not the slightest hint of precipitation…

Woody and Hugo deep in contemplation within Structure Fourteen.

Dig Diary – Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Day Seven Okay, let’s get the weather out the way as soon as possible. It’s nice, there’s no precipitation and everyone seems happy, until Friday at least. And now for…

Colin reveal a new pecked design in the east entrance to Structure Twelve.

Dig Diary – Monday, July 13, 2015

Day Six The start of week two . . . Well, it’s not exactly like summer but at least there’s no precipitation. You may all wonder about the word “precipitation” — a…

The floor deposits in Structure Fourteen are brought back to life with a careful clean.

Dig Diary – Thursday, July 9, 2015

Day Four The calm before another storm Today has been quiet, but decidedly productive, on the Ness. The weather has been perfectly decent, with the sun, and breezes, lulling us into a…

The last of the sandbags are removed from Structure Ten.

Dig Diary – Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Day Three Farewell, old friend . . . Today was a momentous day at the Ness. Not just because it stopped raining (more or less), but because a major transformation took…

Structure Eight's floors remain protected from the torrential onslaught of rain.

Dig Diary – Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Day Two And the rain came down Today it rained. And rained, and rained and rained. Then it rained some more. It’s still raining. It would be nice to report…

Structure Ten starts to emerge from its winter slumber.

Dig Diary – Monday, July 6, 2015

Day One We’re back and raring to go! The tyres, black plastic and sandbags, which have protected 5,000 years of precious archaeology over the winter, are slowly being removed and…

A happy line of trowellers join the Excavation Club.

Calling would-be archaeologists . . . your chance to dig at the Ness

With the 2015 excavations on the Ness of Brodgar due to kick off next week, a call has gone out to youngsters who want to try their hand at archaeology….

Roy Towers and Nick Card signing copies of the new Ness of Brodgar guidebook at the official launch in Kirkwall.

Official Ness of Brodgar guidebook now available

The first book to tell the story of the Ness of Brodgar excavation site – from its discovery, in 2003, to the end of the 2014 excavation season – is…

How things have changed. . .

From the archive – July 2008

I forgot about this entirely. A short test video (hence the terrible quality!) made in July 2008, and subsequently filed away in my archives.


Where it all began . . .

Trawling though my photograph archive (while looking for something entirely different) I came across the original pictures, from April 8, 2003, of the discovery on the Ness that started it all!…


‘Building up to a new season at the Ness of Brodgar’

A new article, written by Andrew Learmonth, about preparations for this season’s excavation has been posted on Orkney.com. Click here to read.

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…


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…