Digging up the past at Ness of Brodgar

Teenagers are being offered a chance for an unrivalled experience of hands-on archaeology at one of Scotland’s richest ancient sites, Ness of Brodgar in Orkney.


Historic Scotland has teamed up with the Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology (ORCA) to present “Digging up the Past”, a series of one-day excavations beginning on July 24th in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site.


The project is aimed at 12-to-16-year-olds, and is run by Historic Scotland’s Ranger Service with archaeologist Helen Woodford-Dean. Participants will be able to learn about archaeology, and try excavation techniques on one of the world’s most fascinating digs.


Research at Ness of Brodgar has been underway since 2003, attracting experts from ORCA, Orkney College UHI, and universities at Aberdeen, Cardiff, Williamette (Oregon),and Glasgow, plus City University New York, as well as volunteers from around the world.


Excavation director, Nick Card of ORCA explained: “We ran a pilot scheme two years ago to give children a chance to see what a dig was like, and attracted an amazing amount of interest.


“The youngsters are given a chance to dig on a new part of the site, where they are almost guaranteed a find, such as a piece of pottery, or flint, which could be 5,000 years old.


“Their reactions are a joy to see, which is encouraging when you consider that these children may be the next generation of archaeologists – and there is enough archaeology at Ness of Brodgar to keep us going for several generations.”


The youngsters are closely supervised and supported throughout the digs, which run on Tuesdays between July 24th and August 14th. A limited number of places are available, and booking is essential.


Commented Orkney Ranger Elaine Clarke: “This is a very popular event, and the children find it a thrilling experience. Visitors also appreciate the chance to see a live dig underway.”


For more information, contact Historic Scotland Orkney Rangers, on 01856 841732.

All information contained herein provided by Historic Scotland

Photo courtesy of flickr Creative Commons: flickr.com/photos/30701623@N02/5481753143/

Digging up the past at Ness of Brodgar


Written by Jessica Voigts

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Jessie Voigts