Christmas Greetings from the Ness of Brodgar

The Ness of Brodgar complex

The Ness of Brodgar site has been under excavation since 2004, revealing a massive complex of monumental Neolithic buildings dating from the centuries around 3000BC.

Without parallel in Atlantic Europe, the Ness of Brodgar’s three hectares are filled with huge stone structures containing spectacular finds.

These have made the Ness one of the most important archaeological excavations in the world today, changing our understanding of the culture and beliefs of Neolithic Orkney and shining a new light on the prehistory of northern Europe.

The project is mainly funded through the generosity of the public through our two supporting charities the Ness of Brodgar Trust and the American Friends.

The discovery of the Ness of Brodgar
The Ness of Brodgar excavation
Stonehall Meadow House Three

The Stonehall settlement – part two

The section of the Neolithic settlement designated Stonehall Meadow was an area of mounds to the north-east of the Stonehall Knoll, where excavation revealed four Neolithic structures, three of which were in a poor state of preservation. Read more
Smerquoy Decorated Stone

The Smerquoy Neolithic settlement

Five years after the Wideford Hill settlement excavations, fieldwalking along the hill’s south-western base recovered tantalising evidence a second Neolithic settlement on low ground beneath the nearby chambered cairn. Read more
Trench T. (Sigurd Towrie)

2023 excavation dates set

2023 marks the 20th anniversary of the discovery of the first building at the Ness of Brodgar and we’re delighted to confirm that the dates for next year’s excavation have been… Read more
Wideford Hill timber structures

The Wideford Hill settlement

The Wideford Hill settlement, in use from c3600-2900BC, lies at the north-western foot of the hill, south-west of Crossiecrown and east of the Stonehall settlement. Its discovery and excavation in 2002-2003 revealed a missing chapter from the biography of Neolithic Orkney – timber houses. Read more
Ring of Bookan, Orkney. (Sigurd Towrie)

The Ring of Bookan

The ditched enclosure known as the Ring of Bookan sits on a ridge a mile to the north-west of the Brodgar stone circle. The massive earthwork comprises a flat-bottomed ditch – circa 13.5 metres wide (44.3ft) and surviving to a depth of up to two metres (6.6ft) – surrounding an oval, raised platform measuring about 45 metres by 40 metres (147.6 x 131.2ft). Read more
Crossiecrown Bronze Age Phase

The Crossiecrown settlement – part two

Parallels with Barnhouse and the Ness of Brodgar hint that the Crossiecrown “double-house” was more than a dwelling. The quality of the internal stonework, the deposited artefacts and the fact the Red House had been “decorated” suggests we have another example of a “big house” – a structure with “enhanced ancestral significance and status”. Read more