Dig Diary — Thursday, July 18, 2013

Day Four Film crews, sunshine and Mike’s head Thursday at the Ness was a quieter, more measured sort of day, enveloped by sunshine and the persistent scrape of trowels on midden. Additional interest was provided by Neil Oliver and his…

Dig Diary — Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Day Three Sorry, but we’re starting with the weather again. After lulling everyone into a ridiculously sunny sense of security on Tuesday afternoon, the cloud and the rain rolled over the Ness with a vengeance today. Surfaces smeared into each…

Dig Diary — Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Day Two The day started wet and windy, to the surprise of absolutely nobody. But hot baths, even hotter showers and, in one suspected case, a good hosing, seemed to have cleaned the diggers and restored their spirits and muscle…

Dig Diary — Monday, July 15, 2013

Day One Off to a blustery start Welcome to the Ness of Brodgar for another season of stunning Neolithic archaeology. It’s hard to believe that almost a year has passed since this astonishing site vanished under billowing protective plastic sheeting…

Ness of Brodgar excavation dates 2013

Excavations on the Neolithic site on Ness of Brodgar, in Stenness, will resume on July 15, 2013, running until August 23. During this time, the Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology (ORCA) dig will be open to the public, with daily…

Archaeology safaris — The Ness of Brodgar 2012

A new video from Adam Stanford, of www.aerial-cam.co.uk, who worked on the site this summer.

New panoramic views of 2012 excavations

I‘ve added links to Ken Stuart’s new, and wonderful, panoramas of the 2012 Ness of Brodgar excavation site. The links can be found in the links panel to the right, or alternatively visit http://kenstuart.com/orkney-2012/panos.html for a list of all the…

Dig Diary — Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Day Twenty-Seven Well, it had to come. This is the last daily diary of the 2012 excavation season at the Ness. We could expand at great length on all we have doing, and at the end of this diary we…

Dig Diary — Monday, August 20, 2012

Day Twenty-Six The end is nigh If the morning was bright and breezy, the afternoon brought a pall of cloud, which hung over the site and reflected, to some degree, the mood of those below. The Ness has been such…

Dig Diary — Sunday, August 19, 2012

Day Twenty-Five A star attraction We guess from the number of visitors we have attracted today that all of you reading this blog saw at first hand the excavations today! After a less than promising start, with drizzle, the sun…

Dig Diary — Thursday, August 16, 2012

Day Twenty-Four With just a week left on site, and a good deal of that time to be taken up with planning and, eventually, the covering over of the site for winter, there has been an opportunity for site director…

Close up of the exquisite polished stone axe.

Dig Diary — Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Day Twenty-Three First of all, a confession . . . We confess, here and now, in the presence of thousands of readers of the diary, out there in the archaeosphere, that we have regularly used superlatives to desc artefacts found at…

Dig Diary — Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Day Twenty-Two Thwarted by the elements The weather has been an ever-present element in the diary this year, and for good reason. Working out-of-doors quickly brings the realisation that it is absolutely vital to what you do. Not just in…

Dig Diary — Monday, August 13, 2012

Day Twenty-One Regarding ‘dressers’ While removing the rubble near the end of the central east pier in Structure Fourteen, in the closing hour of today’s work, Neralie discovered another star find – a beautifully polished stone slab, similar to a red…

Dig Diary — Friday, August 10, 2012

Day Twenty Paint and people It is wonderful to see the expression on visitors’ faces when you explain that the folk of the Late Neolithic, who built the Ness complex, delighted in colour — on the pottery, their walls and…

Dig Diary — Thursday, August 9, 2012

Day Nineteen The finds hut on the Ness is a small, wooden hut, containing finds supervisor Anne, her assistants Scott and Sam (whom we will hear from in a future diary) and an ever-increasing array of stunning finds. The hut…

Final clean for photos in Structure Ten.

Dig Diary – Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Day Eighteen We’ll start today with the star find – a find that caused great excitement and led to our stone tools expert, Professor Mark Edmonds, being recalled from Kirkwall Airport to give urgent advice. Removal of the central midden…

Young archaeologists in the making.

Dig Diary – Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Day Seventeen After the torrential rain of yesterday, this has been one of these calm, slightly claustrophobic days at the Ness, where the cloud is low and stationary, the water of the lochs is glistening and flat and the wind,…

Dig Diary – Monday, August 6, 2012

Day Sixteen And the rain came down . . . Oh dear, oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. It has rained and rained on the Ness for most of the day. And not your ordinary, common-or-garden drizzle. This…

St 1 as viewed from Andre's mini-helicopter - fantastic

Dig Diary – Friday, August 3, 2012

Day Fifteen Today, Friday, was a day of excellent archaeology and jaw-dropping technology to assist with the site recording. Mark, from the University of the Highlands and Islands in Kirkwall, kicked off the day by demonstrating laser-scanning to the students….

Erica investiates the realignment of the outer wall of St 1.

Dig Diary – Thursday, August 2, 2012

Day Fourteen Today, we will start with the best, the very best, find we have had in a while. Professor Mark Edmonds arrived on site late in the afternoon and moved into the middle of the interior of Structure Ten,…

Aerial view of the Ness of Brodgar excavations. July 2012. © RCAHMS. Licensor www.rcahms.gov.uk.

The view from above . . .

The above aerial shot, taken by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS), shows the 2012 excavation season getting under way last month. For more aerial pictures from previous years, see http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/269123/details/stenness+brodgar/

Close-up of some of the incised decoration - each band is circa 1cm wide.

Dig Diary – Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Day Thirteen We have had an interesting day on the Ness, if blowy, wet and intermittently miserable. Hugo, in Structure Fourteen and ancillary areas, was happy. But Hugo is always happy when he can use a mattock (definition: large, heavy…

Dig Diary – Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Day Twelve Media attention The growing importance of the Ness as an archaeological site of international significance has come the inevitable international media attention. In lots of ways this is very welcome. Many of the hundreds of visitors have heard…