Dig Diary – Friday, July 31, 2015

Day Twenty Dodging the downpours To start, today, we  want to introduce Jim Eltome, husband of Annabel, who runs the site shop, and the man on site who can turn his hand to absolutely anything. Distressed at the sight of diggers…

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 from the top of the mound downslope towards the Stenness…

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 very exposed place and the Orkney wind took full advantage…

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 Brodgar structures means that excavation has to be slow and…

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 of people flooding on to the site and taking tours….

Open Day time-lapse video

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

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 cool, the day was bright and dry. And the people…

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 recovered from the structures at the Ness. The problem is,…

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 miserable morning. We will not dwell on the sufferings of…

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 you except the occasional plague of non-biting midges. The sun has…

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, 2015.

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 only been extended and worked in the last day or…

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 to call it, precipitation. We understand there has been some…

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 and dressed stone — excavation over the years has shown…

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 ‘flying mattress’ as you’ll see it referred to regularly throughout…

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).

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, visitors and the delicate archaeology. Tours will resume over the weekend and…

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 stunning, with wall-to-wall sun and light breezes just sufficient to…

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 (that word again) and none suggested for tomorrow. Indeed, the site…

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 the really important stuff . . . On just his…

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 term much-loved by weather forecasters in the United States. We’re thinking…

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 false sense of security — of which more later. The…

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 place on site. For years, we have had to put…

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 that our rugged excavators dug on, through the howling precipitation,…

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 the Ness of Brodgar 2015 season is now fully under…

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. Digging up the Past is aimed at  young people, aged between…