Dig Diary — Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Day Twenty-Eight Thank you and goodbye Sorry, folks. The end is not nigh — it has arrived. This is the last diary for the 2013 excavation season at the Ness of Brodgar. As we look across the site, bags of…

Dig Diary — Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Day Twenty-Seven There’s no doubt that one of the glories of the Ness is the incised stone. It is literally everywhere on the site, in all sorts of contexts and positions. Antonia has now over 500 examples of dressed, or…

Dig Diary — Monday, August 19, 2013

Day Twenty-Six Today is a race against time, with the last week of excavation already started and a large amount of necessary finalising work still to be carried out. Sunday’s appalling weather left many of the surfaces and sections smeared, smudged…

Dig Diary — Sunday, August 18, 2013

Day Twenty-Five And the wild winds blew . . . Today was Open Day at the Ness, and it rained, and howled and rained some more. At one point, Hugo alarmed everyone by walking around the site measuring the wind speed…

Dig Diary — Thursday, August 15, 2013

Day Twenty-Four As many of you already know, the pottery at the Ness ranges in size from the gigantic to the tiny. Today, we bring you news of one of the smallest complete pots. It is, indeed, very small but…

Dig Diary — Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Day Twenty-Three Today was lovely and sunny. The sun shone brightly, and in particular, on our veteran digger Mic, who is working in the annex to Structure Twelve. Mic is a good example of the flexibility of the modern digger….

Dig Diary — Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Day Twenty-Two Contemplating an earlier site . . . Today was one of those quiet, rather contemplative days, which often characterise the second-last week of an excavation. The last week is, of course, taken up with frantic last-minute planning, site…

Dig Diary — Monday, August 12, 2013

Day Twenty-One ‘A tremendous mystery’ Today, we have the revenge of Trench T. Not through Egyptian-style curses, or even through unexpected and catastrophic falls of rubble. Trench T has just sat there and stuck its tongue out at us. To…

Dig Diary Extra — Sunday, August 11, 2013

More aerial shots from Hugo’s kite-cam

Dig Diary — Friday, August 9

Day Twenty The stone robbers Structure Ten may have lost much of its internal walling to stone robbing in the distant past, but a clearer understanding of this dramatic structure is now progressing quickly. Claire, Jan and Christine, working again…

Dig Diary — Thursday, August 8, 2013

Day Nineteen Today has been a good deal quieter than yesterday, which is just as well because extreme excitement (carved stone ball), extreme heat (all day) and extreme exertion (normal digging) are not good for the human frame when taken…

Dig Diary — Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Day Eighteen The repertoire complete . . . We have found a carved stone ball! There you have it. We have ransacked our store of superlatives, but the extraordinary nature of this find has left us with just those plain,…

Dig Diary — Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Day Seventeen We are delighted to announce that we have a new building. Site director Nick and Structure Twelve supervisor, Jim, were there at the birth this morning, indeed acting as midwives. Both Nick and Jim are doing well and…

Dig Diary — Monday, August 5, 2013

Day Sixteen A law of archaeology . . . . . . when the sun is beating down and everyone is feeling a little, well, exhausted, things start happening. Sunny Monday has, indeed, been very busy. It began with the arrival…

Dig Diary — Friday, August 2, 2013

Day Fifteen A plan for Trench T Just in case the good folk of Trench T feel a little neglected, while the world’s media and, more importantly this blog, concentrates on the wonders of incised stone in Trench P, we will…

Dig Diary — Thursday, August 1, 2013

Day Fourteen There is a strange meteorological process in Orkney which is seen nowhere else in the world. It occurs when, by a sort of wind-borne osmosis, the very air absorbs moisture to saturation point. That’s what hit us today….