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Friday, July 27
(Previous entries available here)

A big hello to all of you who are just dying to know what amazing things we’ve been digging up at the Ness of Brodgar today! 

Let me just introduce myself first. My name is Janine Ferguson. I’m from Nova Scotia, Canada and have been living in Orkney since January, studying at Orkney College for my Masters in Archaeological Practice. 

I’m having such an amazing time here in Orkney, especially digging at the Ness of Brodgar.

So many people have asked me, “why Orkney?”  I usually respond with, “why not?” I moved here hoping to gain some experience in prehistoric archaeology and to experience the beauties and wonders of this amazing country. 

I got exactly that and more than I could have ever imagined.  As far as archaeology goes, Orkney is bursting with it.  As you may have noticed, you barely have to scratch the surface before you come across something archaeologically significant. 

The Ness of Brodgar so far has proven to yield an astonishing amount of archaeology contributing to Orkney’s prehistory.  I can’t quite describe the feeling of unearthing these structures and objects whose origins could be 5,000 years before our time.

To be able to uncover so much of the past is incredible.  The various structures and artefacts we’ve been uncovering over the past two weeks most certainly have a story to tell. 

We might not be able to piece together the whole story but surely we’ll have more to tell over the next three weeks.

The sun decided to grace us with its presence yesterday (and again today – yay!) while some of us worked in trench P (the 20 X 20m) drawing up some much needed plans. 

Since it’s such a huge trench there were half a dozen of us all doing our own section.  Meanwhile, the site director, Nick Card, worked meticulously cleaning the large piece of Grooved Ware pottery so it could finally be removed – oh so carefully – without it crumbling to bits. 

Near the end of the 3 o’clock guided tour, he received a round of applause from some of the visitors (and site crew too) for successfully removing it in one piece.  Phew!  Now it can be repacked by Naomi, our finds supervisor, and sent to the conservation lab to make sure it gets taken care of. 

Excavation and planning continues in the other three trenches again today revealing more and more of the stone structures, stone tools, flint, pottery sherds, and burnt bone. 

Trench J seems to be coming along very nicely. 

Shannon began excavating and taking apart the triangular cist hoping to reveal more about what it might have been used for.  I had also found a nice hammer stone in the northwest corner of the trench on Wednesday.  There’s something new and exciting going on here everyday. 

You never know what we’re going to dig up next, so come on down and visit and see all the wonders of Orkney’s archaeology!

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
Orkney Archaeological Trust
Orkney College
Historic Scotland