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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

The Ness of Onston enclosure

North of the Unstan stalled cairn is an enigmatic earthwork that separates the landward side of the Ness of Onston from the headland. This arc of two banks and ditches runs across the width of the headland, demarcating an area to the north that is now devoid of features or visible archaeological remains. Read more
Rinyo plan.

Rinyo Neolithic settlement, Rousay

In the winter of 1937/38, James Yorston was exploring the Braes of Rinyo, Rousay, when he came across stone slabs protruding from the turf. Yorston went on to expose the outline of two structures and portions of four others. Read more
Ness of Brodgar: Jim Richardson

New guidebook due at Easter

With a new edition due around Easter, we have retired our 2017 guidebook, The Ness of Brodgar: Digging Deeper. Although printed copies are no longer available from our online shop,… Read more
(Ballin Smith 2014)

The Crantit cist burials

As we saw last time, the closure of the Crantit chamber left little or nothing visible above ground. But people came back, suggesting the site was marked and memories or traditions of its role persisted. We know this because centuries after the ancient site was sealed it became a focus for at least three Bronze Age burials. Read more
Crantit Chambered Cairn

Crantit chambered cairn

In April 1998, the discovery of a prehistoric chambered tomb on the outskirts of Kirkwall caused great excitement in archaeological circles. The Crantit chamber had lain undisturbed for millennia so hopes were high that it would contain the untouched remains of early Orcadians. Read more