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Thursday, August 7, 2008
(Previous entries available here)

Welcome to day 14 of the Ness of Brodgar excavation.

My name is Janis and I’m one of the Masters students from Orkney College. As I’m sure you’ve heard from my fellow students, this is a great site to work on!

One of the reasons I choose Orkney for a Masters was because there is archaeology everyway! My own background is social anthropology and I’ve also trained as an archaeological conservator - so I’ve been on site before, but not digging. 

Picture ORCA
Walling and cells appearing in Structure 10.

Before coming to the Ness of Brodgar dig, I had the chance to work a few days at the Ring of Brodgar as conservator… although the main find was not Neolithic - rather a time capsule from Renfrew’s 1973 excavation!  

This week, here at Ness of Brodgar, we’ve opened up a big extension to trench P and the large structure seen on geophysics is already evident.

Picture ORCA
Paolo uncovers yet more Neolithic art in the entrance to one of the structures.

However, it has been the original part of trench P that I’ve spent most of my time working in. Earlier this week we drew the plan for this trench, so we could record everything we’ve uncovered so far before continuing to dig further down. Just before I began writing, Paolo found another decorated stone at the entrance of the building! 

It’s hard to believe that we are already at the middle point of the excavation. The number of finds throughout the entire site is growing and we’re now up to 900, and some of those are multiple finds!

Picture ORCA
After planning, excavation on Structure 1 recommences.

So many things are happening and so much will be left for next season.

While digging each day I can’t help but remember that people lived here 5,000 years ago… The Ring of Brodgar, Stones of Stenness, Maeshowe and other places within the World Heritage Site are all here.

It does make you wonder who these people were, how they lived… and did they really separate the realm of the living from the dead with the "Great Wall of Brodgar"?  

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