Dig Diary – Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day Twenty-Seven That’s all folks…until next year Well, that is the end of the dig at the Ness of Brodgar for another 10.5 months. With good luck, and the generosity of funders, we will all be back in July next…

Final planning around Structure 14.

Dig Diary – Monday, August 22, 2011

Day Twenty-Six A day of sunshine and showers, which accurately reflects the mood of the team today. Lots of interesting work remains to be done, although most of it involves planning, recording and photographing elements of the site which have…

The loneliness of the sole XRF operative - Scott finishes taking his last samples from Structure 10.

Dig Diary – Sunday, August 21, 2011

Day Twenty-Five Today was open day on the Ness, and people came from far and wide to see the amazing structures and artefacts from 5,000 years ago. Truly, the folk from the Neolithic would be astonished to see the enthusiastic…

The Triple A Team.

Dig Diary – Thursday, August 18, 2011

Day Twenty-Four Slowly but surely, excavation at the Ness is declining in pace and in scope. Not through any lack of energy or commitment on the part of the staff or diggers, but simply because the life of any excavation…

The northern half of Structure 12.

Dig Diary – Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Day Twenty-Three A momentous day We have dredged the bottom of our bucket of superlatives in order to describe what has been happening on the Ness in days past, and every single one of them has been justified. Today, things…

The central hearth of Structure Ten, under quadrant excavation as viewed by Hugo's PoleCam.

Dig Diary – Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Day Twenty-Two Another hot day on the Ness, and an even hotter one in the trenches. Structure Fourteen turned out to be particularly sizzling today.  A thin deposit of clay was peeled off, in the expectation of finding a floor…

Ian removes the last of the fill from the robber trench along the east wall of Structure 12.

Dig Diary – Monday, August 15, 2011

Day Twenty-One It is the beginning of week five – which is an alarming thought. Only this week and next to crack on with uncovering as many of the secrets of the Ness as possible, while still holding an Open…

Aerial view of Structure 11 - these are still just secondary deposits with primary floor levels still a long way off.

Dig Diary – Friday, August 12, 2011

Day Twenty A new ‘Comet Stone’ Here is a question for all you blog readers out there in the archaeosphere. Was Halley’s Comet visible in the skies above Orkney in the later Neolithic, say around 3000BC to 2500 BC? The…

More of the wall lines and external paving of Structure 11 revealed.

Dig Diary – Thursday, August 11, 2011

Day Nineteen The infernal Orkney wind caused problems on the Ness today, drying the surface of soil and midden and sending it flying over previously cleaned sections. Frankly, it made things look untidy, and, believe it or not, untidy is…

Emily displays her discovery of another piece of haematite.

Dig Diary – Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Day Eighteen STOP PRESS: Mike has finally found wall lines while investigating the area of the presumed, and long anticipated, entrance to Structure Ten! However, they are not what we expected, or hoped for, as they do not seem to…

Structure 8 cleaned and ready for official site photos.

Dig Diary – Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Day Seventeen And the rains have cleared – hoorah! It’s not quite a balmy and sultry day, but at least it’s mainly dry and waterproofs have been replaced by just windproof clothes. Today, Thomas and Ian, from the geophysics unit,…

The geophysics team ignore the weather and battle on.

Dig Diary – Monday, August 8, 2011

Day Sixteen Experiencing an Orcadian summer… Think, March of the Penguins. On a gale-battered, rain-swept, foam swept Ness of Brodgar this morning, 40 or so diggers huddled together in a penguin-like mass – larger ones on the outside protecting those…

Aly reveals the passage between Structures 1, 7 and 11.

Dig Diary – Friday, August 5, 2011

Day Fifteen The roof tiles keep coming . . . The howls of anguish from Structure Eight could be heard all over the site! After toiling through the detailed recording, and removal, of over 370 flagstone roof tiles, the team…

Structure 14 - although not clear in this photo now seems to make a great deal more sense! End wall on the right and pier visible behind planning frame.JPG

Dig Diary – Thursday, August 4, 2011

Day Fourteen Eureka! There is nothing more satisfying than solving a problem. This morning, Hugo was standing on the edge of Structure Fourteen, contemplating the complexities of the building which faced him. Then, a “eureka moment” arrived. A robbed-out wall…

More of Structure 8's floor deposits are revealed.

Dig Diary – Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Day Thirteen It was fascinating to watch the dynamic of the site today – half-way through week three and everything is flowing like a well-oiled machine. Everyone knows exactly what to do. Young diggers move with purpose and confidence and…

Close up of Billy's discovery.

Dig Diary – Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Day Twelve As this diary is written, the rain is battering down on the site hut and some very damp diggers are heading for shelter. It is 3.40pm and, very regretfully, the weather has closed down the site for the…

In Structure 10 Scott starts systematic sampling the floor deposits in one of the side recesses with the XRF based on the site grid.

Dig Diary – Monday, August 1, 2011

Day Eleven It’s been one of those funny Orkney days, with almost no wind, an eerie mist and a sticky temperature. Not particularly conducive to energetic digging, but if the staff were puffing and breathless, the Ness was up to…