Dig diary – Friday, July 17, 2015

Day Ten Proof the sky is blue, sometimes . . . Once again apologies for the weather, which has stopped play for today — it’s just too treacherous for diggers, visitors and the delicate archaeology. Tours will resume over the weekend and…

Dig Diary – Thursday, July 16, 2015

Day Nine Good news and bad . . . It seems to have become traditional to begin with the weather, so we are happy to report that today has been stunning, with wall-to-wall sun and light breezes just sufficient to…

Dig Diary – Wednesday, July 15

Day Eight We’re working in sunshine . . . Today is beautifully sunny with balmy breezes and everyone is in a good mood. There is not the slightest hint of precipitation (that word again) and none suggested for tomorrow. Indeed, the site…

Dig Diary – Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Day Seven Okay, let’s get the weather out the way as soon as possible. It’s nice, there’s no precipitation and everyone seems happy, until Friday at least. And now for the really important stuff . . . On just his…

Dig Diary – Monday, July 13, 2015

Day Six The start of week two . . . Well, it’s not exactly like summer but at least there’s no precipitation. You may all wonder about the word “precipitation” — a term much-loved by weather forecasters in the United States. We’re thinking…

Dig Diary – Thursday, July 9, 2015

Day Four The calm before another storm Today has been quiet, but decidedly productive, on the Ness. The weather has been perfectly decent, with the sun, and breezes, lulling us into a false sense of security — of which more later. The…

Dig Diary – Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Day Three Farewell, old friend . . . Today was a momentous day at the Ness. Not just because it stopped raining (more or less), but because a major transformation took place on site. For years, we have had to put…

Dig Diary – Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Day Two And the rain came down Today it rained. And rained, and rained and rained. Then it rained some more. It’s still raining. It would be nice to report that our rugged excavators dug on, through the howling precipitation,…

Dig Diary – Monday, July 6, 2015

Day One We’re back and raring to go! The tyres, black plastic and sandbags, which have protected 5,000 years of precious archaeology over the winter, are slowly being removed and the Ness of Brodgar 2015 season is now fully under…

Calling would-be archaeologists . . . your chance to dig at the Ness

With the 2015 excavations on the Ness of Brodgar due to kick off next week, a call has gone out to youngsters who want to try their hand at archaeology. Digging up the Past is aimed at  young people, aged between…

Official Ness of Brodgar guidebook now available

The first book to tell the story of the Ness of Brodgar excavation site – from its discovery, in 2003, to the end of the 2014 excavation season – is now available to buy online. Launched to a capacity audience…

From the archive – July 2008

I forgot about this entirely. A short test video (hence the terrible quality!) made in July 2008, and subsequently filed away in my archives.

Where it all began . . .

Trawling though my photograph archive (while looking for something entirely different) I came across the original pictures, from April 8, 2003, of the discovery on the Ness that started it all! So here they are – considerably larger than they’ve been…

‘Building up to a new season at the Ness of Brodgar’

A new article, written by Andrew Learmonth, about preparations for this season’s excavation has been posted on Orkney.com. Click here to read.

Dig director in Texas on lecture tour

The Ness of Brodgar excavation director was back in the USA in April, on a lecture tour brought about by last year’s article in National Geographic magazine. Nick Card, of the UHI Archaeology Institute, was invited, and funded, to tour Texas, taking in…

Art and artefacts on show in Stromness

This summer, artefacts from the Ness of Brodgar will form a major new exhibition, which opens this weekend at the Stromness Museum. Beautifully polished stone maceheads, axes and carved stone balls can be viewed alongside pottery, flint and stone tools, and…

2015 will see first eight-week excavation on the Ness

Thanks to public support and fundraising, this year’s excavation at the Ness of Brodgar has been extended from six weeks to eight. Since work on the Neolithic complex began in 2006, the cost of running the annual excavation meant it…

The carved stone ball from the Ness

A 3d photogrammetry model, by Hugo Anderson-Whymark, of the carved stone ball found at the Ness of Brodgar excavation site, by Molly Bond, on August 7, 2013.

Dig Diary – Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Day Twenty-Seven Done for another year That’s it, folks. With great sadness we have to say that this is the last dig diary of the 2014 season at the Ness. Scanning across the site, the signs of the end are…

Dig Diary – Monday, August 18, 2014

Day Twenty-Six Appeal for volunteers We have job opportunities today, very rare ones, which only occur just once a year. Yes, it is time to think again about the job of backfilling the site. Every year, at the close of…

Dig Diary – Sunday, August 17, 2014

Day Twenty-Five Wow, what a day! The Ness always looks at its happiest when there are visitors around and today, our Open Day, they came in droves. It was nice to see so many Orcadian faces in the crowds, taking…

Dig Diary – Thursday, August 14, 2014

Day Twenty-Four Farewell Willamettes Sadly, today is the last day for the Willamettes, that intrepid bunch of students from deepest darkest Oregon, led by their Professor, Scott Pike. They have been tremendous company and have worked so very hard – putting up…

Dig Diary – Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Day Twenty-Three A day of fantastic finds! Today has seen the most fantastic finds emerge from the soils and midden of the Ness. Not that this is in any way unusual – every year the finds hut echoes to “oohs”…

Dig Diary – Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Day Twenty-Two ‘I bet that’s a standing stone’ Let’s wind back to the beginning of this year’s dig, when site director, Nick, and Structure Twelve supervisor, Jim, were standing musing over that particularly lovely structure. They were engaged in characteristic…

Dig Diary – Monday, August 11, 2014

Day Twenty-One Something special . . . We promised you in the last blog that something special might be happening soon. Well, it has only half-happened, so today we have just about 50 per cent of the story to tell…

Dig Diary – Friday, August 8, 2014

Day Twenty Two weeks left! This is the end of busy week four at the Ness and, horror of horrors, there are only two weeks left of the 2014 season. However, there is no reason to be despondent yet, because there…