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Sunday, August 17, 2008
(Previous entries available here)

Hello everybody, 

My name is Paolo and I am one of the Masters students at the Orkney College who are the back bone of this year excavation at the Ness of Brodgar.

Picture ORCA
A full "car park" during today's site open day.

I come from a small town called Ascoli Satriano in the south part of Italy, but I have been roaming around the planet for the past five years. Last year, while I was in Australia, I saw on a website that Orkney College had organized a Masters course in archaeology - so I applied and here I am!

My experience in archaeology is mainly colonial and Palaeolithic in Australia, therefore, this Orkney experience is giving to me the opportunity to explore different archaeological backgrounds, which includes Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Norse and Medieval periods. 

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The crowds gather for the Open Day tours.

It has been already four weeks I have been digging at the Ness of Brodgar and many people I saw come and go. Volunteer archaeologists, professional archaeologists, students, media reporters, tourists from all over the world, dogs, cats, ducks, swans… everyone gathered around the site to look at this amazing spot which will be one of the major attraction in the Orkney in few years time, when everything will be cleaned up and ready to be included in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney. 

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Site director Nick Card examines the outer revetment to Structure 1 - basal slabs are now appearing at a depth of one metre.

Today we are having the open day and so far we have had a huge amount of people (over 600 in total today!) coming to see what we have been doing during these past four weeks. It is amazing to see so many people interested in what we are doing, considering that the weather is not the one you would expect on a summer day. However, curiosity does not have any kind of barriers, I guess! 

Well it is time for me to go and do some work before Nick (aka the site director) is coming and burying me under the structure 1, where I have been digging for the past four weeks, to become part of the archaeology.

We will be on the site for one more week (daily guided tours at 11 and 3 till Wednesday 20th August), so if you are close by, feel free to pop in and check out the site, or if you are not in the Orkney, hopefully, I might see you next year for another season of digging at the Ness of Brodgar.

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Nick Card explains the "Great Wall of Brodgar", and Trench J, to some of the Open Day visitors.
The Ness of Brodgar
Orkney's World Heritage Site
The Ring of Brodgar
Archaeology around the Ness of Brodgar
The Standing Stones of Stenness
The Barnhouse Settlement