Dig Diary – Thursday, July 31, 2014

Day Fourteen Drama of the highest order 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. But, and it is a…

Dig Diary – Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Day Thirteen Midden matters 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 acres of midden interspersed by diggers and yet…

Dig Diary – Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Day Twelve Arran pitchstone 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, on the island of Arran. Clearly, it has been…

Dig Diary – Monday, July 28, 2014

Day Eleven A day of new arrivals 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 season on the Ness. Existing…

Dig Diary – Friday, July 25, 2014

Day Ten Colour in prehistory 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 in Europe in the use of colour…

Dig Diary – Thursday, July 24, 2014

Day Nine Too hot? In Orkney? 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 and thought how wonderful it would…

Dig Diary – Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Day Eight Carinated bowl in Structure Fourteen? Today was pottery day at the Ness, and, oh, what pottery. The prize find came from Hugo’s Structure Fourteen and a location we have mentioned a few times already. Specifically, it is the sondage alongside the…

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, it is still sunny and hot. The weather has caused…

Dig Diary – Monday, July 21, 2014

Day Six Welcoming the Willamettes 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 the Ness and his X-Ray Fluorescence analyses…

Dig Diary – Friday, July 18, 2014

Day Five Hacked, but back . . . 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 you the latest in…

Dig Diary – Thursday, July 17, 2014

Day Four Nothing’s going to stop us now . . . 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, rain…

Dig Diary – Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Day Three First find of the season Today, Trench T was opened, and in remarkably fast order. One minute it was wrapped in its winter sleep, and the next minute it lay exposed and shivering in a breezy Orkney wind. The…

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 exciting 21st century archaeology is usually neither easy nor quick….

Dig Diary – Monday, July 14, 2014

Day One And we’re back . . . 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 you informed of everything that…