Yesterday (one of the best days ever) we were very privileged to be invited by Anne Mitchell, Ness of Brodgar Development Project Officer to have a look at some of the finds from The Ness.

It was both fascinating and mind blowing to see and even in some cases to touch these incredible objects. Annes knowledge is incredible and it was inspiring to hear first hand the thoughts on the finds and the Ness in general, to marvel at the skill of these ancient people and to wonder at their lives.

Here are a few of the photos I took.

Starting off with decorated stone

This is a little gem, although a beautiful heart shape they do not think there is any significance in that but the very fine decoration is stunning, I hope you can pick it out in the photo.

Decoration like this has inspired Michael for a while now.

This stone has been decorated with the deeper incised  lines, fine lines and knapped impressions, at what stage each style was added it is not clear. A fascinating arrangement of styles.

Oh a little heart flutter, The Brodgar carved stone ball, wow. This is exquisite and a little bit fragile. I did gently touch it with one finger and it made the hairs on my arm stand-up. 

Mace heads and worked stone. Incredibly beautifully made and polished. The holes were more or less the same size in all the ones we looked at. They showed obvious signs of use some more than others.

Cushion stones, not sure of the reason these were made, but again beautifully polished and shaped.

Lots of smaller worked stone ‘tools’. Were they used to decorate pots, work leather,???? What I do know is they were again very skilfully made and Michael absolutely loved them!!!!!!. Now I’m not saying he didn’t love all the rest of the finds we looked at, he was in his element all the time we were there, but he was in awe of these.


Part of a very large and very fragile pot that had just arrived back from being preserved.

Another special pot, not only because it is complete. A Grooved ware pot with some typical Grooved ware decoration still visible

Applied decoration. A design that often appears, known as ‘The Bow’. This again is a a piece of a large pot but hasn’t been cleaned away from the earth it was found on. When we looked closely we could see the line that is the clay of the pot. It may be better left as it is, it could just crumble away.

Also back from being preserved some wood. This had been found in a very wet clay area and therefore preserved. The area at The Ness is not the kind of ground that preserves natural fibres. The team will now decide if they look into this more, date it and possibly find out what kind of wood it is. 

A small area of the shelving just to give you an idea of the scale of this project and the amount of work the team and volunteers have been and still are doing on this fascinating, very special, Orkney Neolithic site.

Follow the dig at The Ness of Brodgar Excavation Look out for this summers dig diary, if at all possible visit, it is a must, take a tour and there will be the usual 2 open days during the dig season. 

Ways to support the dig can be found on the website. 

Hope you have enjoyed this little insight into the finds and we would like to thank Anne again for taking the time to show us.