The Ness of Brodgar + Exhibition!…. A Most Excellent Blog….. How, Who & When?...

by Bernie Bell - 08:58 on 11 March 2023

The Ness of Brodgar….

I was talking with someone about The Ness dig finishing after next year and saying that - as he hasn’t been to The Ness yet - if he wants to see it he‘s only go two more chances.  He said that they’ve  probably found all that there is to be found.  My response was – far from it.  I advised him to go and see the dig, look at the site and its lay-out – for one thing, it’s clear that there must be more structures under the spoil heap.

Also - a ‘new’ trench was started a few years ago in the lower field – known as Trench T - and that has grown and grown – what more is there under that field?

And - the area between the edge of Trench P and where the Wall of Brodgar went across – there are likely to be more structures under there.  We’re probably walking over them every time we visit The Ness!

And – it’s not just the structures, it’s what’s been found in them – the objects found - such as the Extra-Ordinary-A-Symmetrical-Six-Knobber -  in my view the find of the dig…..  https://theorkneynews.scot/2017/12/29/mathematical-musings-of-the-neolithic-kind/

I was saying that a breathing space was needed – they found so much, so quickly.  And then kept finding more - not giving much time to work on making sense of what they had. That’s what’s needed now.

I think I’ve persuaded him to go and see for himself that what’s been found so far isn’t all there is.

The thing is – it concerns me that more folk might be thinking that it’s all over after the 2024 dig – will be covered over and that’s that, and therefore lose interest.  The dig relied quite a lot on donations made at the site, purchases from the site shop and especially the annual Open Day.  These won’t be happening after 2024 – there is an on-line Ness of Brodgar Trust shop… https://www.nessofbrodgar.co.uk/shop/  selling Ness related goodies, and there is an on-line shop on the OAS website… https://shop.orkneyarchaeologysociety.org.uk/  - but yer’ actual on-site shop brought in custom from people who maybe aren’t aware of the existence of the on-line ‘shops’ – or even of the OAS!

So, I’m writing this to highlight the fact that work will need to continue – funding will still be needed, and discoveries relating to The Ness are far from over.

I wrote this in 2018 - in 2024 it will be a final ‘closing down’ – for now ….

We’re Watching…………..

They’re closing down the Ness again

It’s easier now, than then

We did it all with soil and midden

This stuff’s beyond our ken.


They’re closing down the Ness again

They do it every year

We thought we’d done it for all time

Or something very near.


They’re closing down Ness again

They come from far and near

They’re not that different from us

That much is very clear.


They’re closing down the Ness again

Strange folk, strange clothes, strange speech

And yet what was once known to us

Is not beyond their reach


They’re closing down the Ness again

We watch them working hard

The man in charge, is one of us

A knowing–man named Card


They’ve sealed it off

That is the end

At least for one more year.

We watch, we wait, we hope, we know

Their time to learn, is near.

BB 28th August 2018

I’d like to be there on the last day – folk will be needed to help with the covering over and I’d be useless for that – but I’d like to be there – maybe I’ll just  lean across the gate and…say ‘Fare-well’.

I’ll try not to get too moopy when I visit the Ness this year – no point, there are still two more digs to go. 

I’ll probably get moopy next year, but ……..the only constant in life is change.


While on the subject of The Ness – I’d just written the above when I saw a new post on the NOB website….  https://www.nessofbrodgar.co.uk/orkney-museum-2023/

That there will be an exhibition based on The Ness at Tankerness House ( aka The Orkney Museum) from May the 13th to September the 30th  is good news anyway, but particularly good news for folk like me.  I didn’t go to the exhibition in the Maes Howe Visitor Centre last year as I’m still avoiding being indoors where there will be groups of un-known people - Covid is still with us.  I will be more comfortable going to Tankerness House as it’s big and there’s plenty of space in which to avoid the potentially diseased populace. 

We went to an exhibition  based on The Cairns in the Stromness Museum….. https://frontiersmagazine.org/the-cairns-comes-to-stromness-museum/

and that was fine – also the Pier Arts Centre Christmas Exhibition last year…. http://www.spanglefish.com/berniesblog/blog.asp?blogid=16041 .   For me, a lot depends on having the space in which to keep my distance.

Seeing that Norna Sinclair is working on the exhibition reminded me of her art-works which I’ve seen previously and which I liked – lots….


So – I’m looking  forward to it – planning – we’ll probably go towards the end of September when there won’t be so many visitors in Orkney – nothing against visitors – I’m just very Covid Cautious – I have to be! 


A Most Excellent Blog….

I happened on David C. Weinczok’s blog by chance  - posted a link to his piece…  ‘The Eynhallow Sound’ in m’blog, then started to look for more…and found this….


Kilmartin Glen is a wonder of a place –








I’ve asked if there is any way that I can sign up to have his blog sent to me, as it’s most excellent!


How, Who & When?...

Steve Drury ponders the question…..


And I’ve wondered was anyone there before them?



Here’s one I made earlier…. https://theorkneynews.scot/2020/07/09/a-closer-look-at-some-local-archaeology/



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