Ness of Brodgar dig well underway

Archaeologists have been hard at work at the incredible Ness of Brodgar excavation since early July, slowly uncovering more secrets from this sprawling site.

We took a trip out to the dig to see the progress from the summer season so far, ahead of the annual open day on Sunday, July 30th.

As usual, the Ness was a bustling hive of activity, with workers spread out across the site and visitors joining guided tours to get a glimpse behind the scenes.

The Ness of Brodgar has been under excavation for nearly 20 years now and the dig has gradually revealed a huge complex of Neolithic buildings, dating back more than 5000 years. Stretching out across three hectares of the thin Brodgar peninsular, this unique site has been mesmermising experts and members of the public since the first trowel touched the ground.

This year around 60 archaeologists and students have been present throughout the summer. It's the first time the entire site has been uncovered since 2019, giving the team the chance to make real progress on previously dormant parts of the dig.

The Ness continues to attract interest from around the world and has become one of Orkney's most popular tourist destinations. Spend even five minutes at the dig and you'll hear accents from around the world, with visitors all fascinated by the sheer scale of the archaeology unfolding in front of them.

There are free guided tours at 11am, 1pm and 3pm every weekday and they're the perfect way to learn more about the site, its importance, and to see the experts in action.

Sadly, 2023 is the penultimate season of excavations at the Ness of Brodgar, with the dig due to come to a close next year. The site will be covered over and backfilled after the 2024 project ends, so if you want to see it for yourself, you should start planning your trip now.

This year's open day will take place on Sunday, July 30th between 11am and 4pm, with plenty of tours and activities on-site and in the Stenness Community School. Otherwise the Ness will still be open to the public until Wednesday, August 16th.

Find out more via the official Ness of Brodgar website. Newsletter

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