Come and work in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney Come and work in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney

Come and work in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney

2017 is the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology – and two lucky people could be right at the heart of it here in Orkney.

Thanks to funding from Orkney’s LEADER programme and the Scottish Government, new roles to help manage and promote the incredible excavations at the Ness of Brodgar have been created.

The Brodgar peninsula, the centre of Neolithic Orkney and the home of the Ness of Brodgar dig - image by Jim Richardson


A full-time Senior Projects Manager will be joined by a part-time Archaeological Project Officer at the Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology (ORCA), with the aim of developing the full potential of the site.

And it certainly has plenty of potential!

The sprawling excavation covers an area of 2.5 hectares right in the middle of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is seen as one of the most important digs in Europe. Evidence of structures beneath the surface at the site was first discovered in 2002. Since then, every year, finds from the Ness of Brodgar continue to surprise even the most experienced archaeologists.

An aerial view of the Ness of Brodgar excavation site - image by Hugo Anderson-Whymark


It has revealed a complicated complex of 5,000 year old stone buildings enclosed by six metre thick walls. It has produced decorated and painted stonework unlike anywhere else. There is evidence of stone-tiled roofing and chambered tombs. It is the archaeological site that keeps on giving.

It has also attracted an incredible amount of interest around the world. The dig has made it onto the cover of National Geographic and has been featured in numerous television programmes – indeed, it will be highlighted again in BBC Two’s ‘Britain’s Ancient Capital: Secrets of Orkney’ on the 2nd of January. In 2015 alone more than 10,000 people visited the dig, captivated by the opportunity to see thousands of years of history uncovered right in front of their eyes.

Archaeologists on site at the Ness of Brodgar in 2016


The challenge is to manage an operation of this size, and that’s where the newly created roles come in. ORCA will appoint a Senior Projects Officer on a two year contract who will be responsible for all aspects of the development of the project. This includes overall planning, control and co-ordination of the activity, and also the behind the scenes work, like securing vital funding, marketing and ensuring the long-term conservation of the site.

It’s an incredibly challenging role but one that has the potential to be incredibly rewarding too.

The roles are aimed at managing and promoting the excavation


To help, ORCA will also be employing an Archaeological Project Officer on a part-time basis for two years. The role will entail supervising the processing of finds from the site and supporting the Senior Projects Officer throughout the course of the contract. How many other roles would you get to document freshly uncovered Neolithic artefacts on a near daily basis!

2017 is set to be another exciting year at the Ness of Brodgar – why not join us in Orkney and be part of it.


Applications for both roles close on the 4th of January. Find out more via the MyJobScotland website.

Visit the official Ness of Brodgar website for more details on the project. Explore Orkney.com for all the information you need on living and working in the islands.