Dig Diary Special – Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Day Twenty-Three Back in the lab with geoarchaeologist Jo Hi everyone. It’s Jo McKenzie here – as seen in some of the blog posts from the first two weeks of this season; ten hectic days of talking, planning, and of course,…

Dig Diary – Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Day Twenty-Two Big buildings and another very big beast So much has happened today that it’s difficult to know where to start. Perhaps the beginning would be best and, as usual, that refers to the weather. Glory of glories, it…

Dig Diary – Monday, August 1, 2016

Day Twenty-One Watched by a drone above . . . Somehow you never imagine, when embarking on a career in archaeology, that the regulations of the Civil Aviation Authority will ever be of interest. But they are. Oh yes, they…

Dig Diary – Sunday, July 31, 2016

Day Twenty The year’s first open day What a day! We were promised mainly dry weather but the wind blew and the showers just kept on coming – but still it didn’t seem to deter the number of visitors. By…

Get back to the Stone Age on Sunday

As you may have noticed, there’s no dig diary today. That’s because the diggers had a day off, in preparation for Sunday’s open day – the first of two this season – when all hands will be on deck, from…

Diary Extra – 3D reconstruction of a complete pillow stone

Today saw the discovery of another pillow stone at the Ness, although the latest find, from Trench X, was broken. One of the other, complete, pillow stones found on site is featured in Dr Hugo Anderson-Whymark’s 3D reconstruction below and…

Dig Diary – Thursday, July 28, 2016

Day Nineteen Structure Eight’s rosette stone Like yesterday, as the day was drawing to a close another fabulous find was made –  this time by Dr Antonia Thomas, our art expert. While carefully dismantling the later buttressing to Structure Eleven,…

Dig Diary – Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Day Eighteen A macehead and an anvil stone As the blog was being put together, at the end of the day, Trench X produced another impressive find – a macehead or rather, as usual, half a macehead. Peter was trowelling the…

Dig Diary – Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Day Seventeen The structure with no name . . . Today was a day of head-scratching and complexities in more than one of the Ness structures. In the ominously-named Trench X, Anne, Colin and their team have revealed more of…

Dig Diary – Monday, July 25, 2016

Day Sixteen Hearths, magnetism and old friends… One of the great pleasures of summer at the Ness is welcoming back those who have worked here in previous years. A number of new diggers arrived this morning –  although many were…

Diary Extra – Sunday, July 24, 2016

From Orkney to the Fens, our ancient past is coming alive As mentioned on Friday, the Ness excavation site was visited by Kevin McKenna, a senior feature writer for The Observer. Kevin’s subsequent article is now available online here.

Dig Diary – Friday, July 22, 2016

Day Fifteen Ending week three with a day of discovery Today was a day of discoveries at the Ness and some of them have been really exciting. The most sensational was the identification of some highly unusual and recognisable pottery sherds from…

Diary Extra – Thursday, July 21, 2016

Some views from above Time of another three of Dr Hugo Anderson-Whymark’s panoramas, taken today, from high above various locations in Trench P. The first was taken from directly above Structure Ten, looking out over Structure Twelve, Trench X and towards the…

Dig Diary – Thursday, July 21, 2016

Day Fourteen More bone and a second notched stone Miracle of miracles! A very nice lady visited the Ness today, seized the diary by the arm and insisted that there must be more, much more, reporting of the weather. She is…

Diary Extra – Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Around the world in 80 models  . . . Regular diary readers will have seen Dr Hugo Anderson-Whymark’s marvellous 3D reproductions of the Ness of Brodgar excavation site, as well as his panoramas and aerial photographs. This week, Hugo is one of…

Dig Diary – Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Day Thirteen Human remains under Structure Ten Our determination to talk about the weather yesterday has come back to bite us with a vengeance. We had barely recovered from yesterday’s sun-stroke and dehydration when this morning arrived, heralded by louring…

Diary Extra – Tuesday, July 19, 2016

We’re basking in sunshine . . . We don’t get them often, but today was a scorcher of a day – although, I will admit that it was a little too warm for me (20 degrees C this afternoon –…

Dig Diary – Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Day Twelve What a difference a day makes . . . We have no idea how hot it got at the Ness today. Suffice to say that it was horribly hot, whether in Fahrenheit or Centigrade. Regular readers will have…

Dig Diary – Monday, July 18, 2016

Day Eleven Thwarted by the rain . . . but there’s big news coming This is not a day we wish to remember. It drizzled, then it rained, then it drizzled some more. Taken together, today’s rain maybe didn’t amount…

Dig Diary – Friday, July 15, 2016

Day Ten Fingers crossed for a chambered tomb Today, we have startling news from Trench  T – the one which runs from the huge midden beyond the house and down to Stenness loch. Ben and his team have been finishing…

Dig Diary – Thursday, July 14, 2016

Day Nine Foundation deposit beneath Structure Ten? Today started tranquilly enough in Trench X as UHI and Willamette students were taught the rudiments of planning. Many experienced diggers enjoy planning. Others, and especially those with bad backs, find it something…

Dig Diary – Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Day Eight A day of discoveries Today it’s time to turn to Trench T (for all you pedants out there, yes, the diary does love a spot of alliteration). This is the trench on the far side of Lochview, which…

Dig Diary – Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Day Seven The finds emerge. . . Regular and eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that there has not been much mention made thus far of wonderful finds. To be terribly pretentious about it this may be because, as serious archaeologists,…

Dig Diary – Monday, July 11, 2016

Day Six Some timely arrivals . . . Reinforcements arrived on site today, and not before time. The Ness has developed, over the years, into a site which is both large and complex, and we will have more to say…