Ness of Brodgar, Stromness

4.6
#4 of 18 in Things to do in Stromness
Ness of Brodgar is an archaeological site covering 2.5ha between the Ring of Brodgar and the Stones of Stenness in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site near Loch of Harray, Orkney, in Scotland. Excavations at the site began in 2003. The site has provided evidence of housing, decorated stone slabs, a massive stone wall with foundations, and a large building described as a Neolithic "cathedral" or "palace". The site may have been occupied from as early as 3500 BC to the close of the Neolithic period more than a millennium and a half later.According to project manager Nick Card, the discoveries are unparalleled in British prehistory, the complexity of finds is changing the "whole vision of what the landscape was 5,000 years ago" and that "it’s of a scale that almost relates to the classical period in the Mediterranean with walled enclosure and walled precincts". Additionally, according to archaeologists in general, the site could be more important than Stonehenge.FindsExcavations have revealed several buildings, both ritual and domestic and the works suggest there are likely to be more in the vicinity. Pottery, cremated animal bones, stone tools, and polished stone mace heads have also been discovered. Some of the stone slabs are decorated with geometrical lozenges typical of other Neolithic sites.There are the remains of a large stone wall (the "Great Wall of Brodgar") that may have been 100m long and 4m or more wide. It appears to traverse the entire peninsula the site is on and may have been a symbolic barrier between the ritual landscape of the Ring and the mundane world around it.
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Ness of Brodgar Reviews
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  • August 18, 2017
    This was a fascinating place to visit as it's a live archeological dig. There are free tours given (3 time a day, the first was 11am when we went) which I'd recommend as you find out so much more abou...  more »
  • August 18, 2017
    We attended a Sunday Guided tour of the Ness excavations. There were no working archaeologists on theis day but it did not detract from our experience. Our guide was very good and had an excellent man...  more »
  • August 16, 2017
    I had been to Orkney twice before and had seen plenty awe inspiring tombs and standing stones. This is something else entirely. It's probably the most important Neolithic site in the whole of Europe. ...  more »
Google
  • We found this excavation site by chance on our way to see the Ring of Brodgar and decided to stop. These are excavations of a Neolithic temple complex from over 5,000 years ago. And what they've uncovered and are excavating so far is only about 10% of what's there underground, very impressive... If you're more interested in this type of thing, you can take a guided tour as well. We didn't take the tour so I don't know if it costs anything, but if you just want to walk around and take a look, you can do so freely.
  • Strongly recommend the free tour on in the summer months, incredible to see such a well preserved part of our history
  • The site is only open in the summer so archaeology students can come and gain practical experience working on site. It's a lovely history mine, they dig in a hole in the ground and extract history.
  • Vert interesting to visit Ness of Brodgar which is an archaeological site covering 2.5 hectares between the Ring of Brodgar and the Stones of Stenness
  • Interesting dig. Could do with more information around to put it into context

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