The cost of running an archaeological excavation is considerable.
The Ness of Brodgar, for example, costs in the region of £2,000 per day — a fact that has meant that previous excavation seasons had to be limited to six weeks.
However, a new charity to support the excavations has been launched in America.
The American Friends of the Ness of Brodgar (AFNOB) group aims not only to promote the archaeological work being carried out at the site and help raise funds for the project.
The group’s goal is to expand the excavation season from six weeks to eight weeks, from 2015 onwards.
Interest in the USA is considerable, with site director Nick Card having carried out two very successful lecture tours over the past few years, talking at venues including the Smithsonian Institute, the Harvard Club and the American Institute of Archaeology.
Nick said: “The amount of interest generated in the Ness around the world has been considerable, but especially in America. We hope that with the establishment of AFNOB we will be able to foster this support and thus not only provide long-term sustainability to the Ness project, but also more opportunities to promote Orkney to the North American market.
“A huge thanks to Martha Johnson, Helen and David Smith and Cort Morgan for making this possible.”
The American Friends of the Ness of Brodgar group is registered with the IRS and can be found on Facebook or at www.nessofbrodgar.com.
Outside the USA, donations can be made via the Orkney Archaeology Society website, www.orkneyarchaeologysociety.org.uk