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Friday, July 23, 2010
(Day 5)

 

Work today has focused upon the removal of another 5cm or so of material from the area in, and surrounding, Structure Twelve - which was initially thought to be the south-west end of Structure Eight. But as the site slowly unfolds, it appears that Structure Twelve may, in fact, be an independent feature.

Within the removed material, Stacey found some exquisitely decorated Grooved Ware pottery with bands of applied decoration. Although this is in a very poor state, it was still lifted in a block of soil so that it can be conserved, and excavated, back in the lab.

Close to this was an elongated stone pebble that may have been polished.

Picture ORCA
Stacey's Grooved Ware and stone tool.

 

Meanwhile, Pete found perhaps the nicest piece of retouched flint so far found – a very finely retouched, large, lopsided arrowhead, made from a very fine piece of flint that perhaps originated in Yorkshire! More evidence of Neolithic, long-range contact between Orkney and the south.

We have been lucky again today with the weather, as it has been hot and sunny with a cool breeze – perfect for excavation! In fact, we have been really lucky all week with the weather, the sun is usually shining and we have only had one afternoon which was a bit cold.

Again the weather today seems to have brought out the crowds with guided tours averaging over 50 visitors at a time taking advantage of the new viewing platform.

Picture ORCA
Excavation of Structure 10 being overlooked by a guided tour on the new scaffold platform.

 

I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to excavate a site as exceptional as the Ness of Brodgar. As I have just begun the first year of my PhD research, dietary reconstruction of the Neolithic – Bronze Age transition in Orkney, having the ability to see the skeletal remains at excavation stage and then being lucky enough to have permission to process them in the lab for stable isotope analysis is a rare opportunity.

I have really enjoyed my week at the Ness of Brodgar, and I wish that I could stay here for longer! The staff here have all been really friendly and welcoming, and they all take the time to train you properly and explain to you what’s happening at the site. It’s a really nice place to be and the views of the landscape from site are amazing!

I can’t wait to return next year!

Chelsea Budd
PhD Research Student
University of Hull

Picture ORCA
Dan Lee and Martin Carruthers discuss Structure One with the
MA Archaeology students from Orkney College.

 

Maeshowe Alignments
A Neolithic focal point?
Stone Age art
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
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