More visitors than ever before have seen the incredible excavations at the Ness of Brodgar in Orkney this summer, and there are still nearly three weeks left in the dig season.
Last week the site welcomed its 10,000th visitor of the year, with overall numbers well on the way to beating 2016’s total tally of 12,000 visitors. It’s another sign of how this sprawling Neolithic site continues to capture the imagination of the public.
'It has been another amazing season, not just the archaeology but the interest has been incredible,' said Excavation Director, Nick Card. 'The Ness has always attracted visitors but this has been a special four weeks or so.'
It’s thought the three-part BBC series ‘Britain’s Ancient Capital: Secrets of Orkney’, broadcast in January and which featured the Ness, could be one of the reasons for the increase in visitors.
Those coming in through the gates have been enjoying the regular free tours of the site including, for the first time, the mysterious Trench T, which is being investigated in more detail this season.
‘The archaeology as always is just outstanding, there are some amazing structures being excavated and an array of different floor levels being investigated,' said Nick. 'Trench T is really capturing the imagination too and we’re slowly unearthing a truly monumental structure there. It will probably be next year before we really get to see the full extent of the building.'
Don’t worry if you haven’t been able to see the Ness of Brodgar this season yet – you still have until the 23rd of August to join a tour. The dig will then be covered up for the season on the 24th and 25th.
There is also a special Open Day on the Sunday 20th August between 11am and 4pm, with tours and activities for all ages at the site and at the nearby Stenness Community School.