End of Ness

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 Posted by Mark on Friday, 28 August 2015


Openday at the Ness
Decorated stone

Well, all good things must come to an end and the Ness of Brodgar dig has done just that for this year at least. On the Sunday they had their second open day and all the volunteers were asked to help, which we did. There were over 1200 visitors that day and everyone seemed to have a good time. The weather was fine but windy and after standing outside all day we were all quite tired. Anna took some great pictures that day and they are on her Fickr account here.

The recently found marked stone was put on public display for the first time and there were lots of activities on the site and also down at the local town hall. Just before the open day started there was a private tour by Nick Card for members of the Orkney Archaeology Society so of course we both went. It was nice to be able to show Anna some of the things I had been talking to her about during my period of volunteering. After this tour Anna went back home whilst I carried on helping out.

When the open day came to an end, Anna came back to pick me up and brought with her a large box of freshly made cookies that she had been baking that day. We both went round the site distributing these to the diggers and the volunteers, this was very gratefully received, particularly by the guides who had not had much in the way of a break all day, when he heard of this Nick Card came running across to claim his cookie!

After returning to Mill cottage I sat down to watch the recorded F1 Grand Prix, although I must admit that after the second lap I saw nothing until half way through as I fell asleep!

On the Monday after, it was my last day of helping out at the NoB shop as the shop closes on the Wednesday and the dig finishes. It was a fairly busy day but during a lull between tours I saw a Policeman drive up to be greeted by Nick and they both went onto the dig. Now this can mean only one thing, a burial has been found. Any human remains found must be reported to the Police who then decide whether or not it is work opening the files on a 5,000 year old case or to let the archaeologists carry on! In the shop we were bursting with curiosity and so I popped across and past the site barriers. We are not allowed into the site unless invited for obvious reasons, so I stayed on the grass at the edge with the other diggers including the girl who found the skeleton. It was of a small baby. I was sworn to secrecy and told not to publish anything about it on the Social media until they had excavated it fully and announced it. All exciting stuff if like me you are interested in such things and to be there for such a discovery was great. Here is the article all about it.

It will be difficult to top a couple of days like that!




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