Return to Orkneyjar Latest News Excavation Diary Excavation Background Archive Stories





Friday, July 25, 2008
(Previous entries available here)

Picture ORCA
Johnny with his newly-discovered polished stone axe head

My name is Stuart Forbes, and although with Scottish roots, come from London. I took up archaeology on my retirement and have recently completed a part time Diploma in Archaeology.  

I’ve spent several holidays in Orkney and always wanted to dig here. So it’s been a real privilege to join the Ness of Brodgar excavations as a volunteer. It’s been hard work, but everyone has been very friendly. It’s great to be able to look up from the trench you’re working in and with a turn of the head see Maeshowe, the Standing Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar.

Picture Sigurd Towrie
The "new" decorated stone slab.
Click here for a larger "enhanced" version.

It is fascinating to see the buildings used by Bronze Age and Neolithic people emerging from the ground, and to stand surrounded by the stones that would have given them shelter and been their homes.

Most impressive also is the solid stone wall to the north of the site. Having just walked along Hadrian’s Wall, it’s quite evident that the Wall of Brodgar is wider than the Roman one, as well as being much older. 

Two exciting finds have come to light today. 

One is a stone slab with markings on its face.

They take the form of the cross-hatched incisions that have been found on other stones at the site, and on Grooved Ware Pottery. 

The other find is a well-preserved axe head that has been carefully worked and smoothed.

The cutting edge is as good as the day it was last worked.  

Unfortunately today is my last day at the dig, but I look forward to keeping up to date with its progress on the Orkneyjar website.

Click here for more photographs from today.


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