Prehistoric pottery workshop at the Ness

Dr Mike Copper with a pot created by one of this afternoon's pottery workshop participants at the Ness.
Dr Mike Copper with a pot created by one of this afternoon’s pottery workshop participants at the Ness.

One of the most common finds at the Ness of Brodgar is pottery.

Almost all is of a style known as Grooved Ware, which appears to have developed here in Orkney in the last couple of centuries of the fourth millennium BC, before spreading across the whole of Britain and Ireland.

Today, at the Ness, visitors were given the chance to turn their hands towards producing their own Grooved Ware pots when Neolithic pottery specialist Dr Mike Copper, of the University of Bradford, organised a prehistoric pottery workshop.

Following an introduction to Neolithic pottery, course participants were given the opportunity to view some of the pots found at the Ness so far this season, before learning how to build pots using techniques that were used in Orkney 5,000 years ago.

After learning the basics they were able to try the more challenging task of making pots from “wild” clay dug in Orkney, which were then decorated using tools that would have been available to the inhabitants of the Ness of Brodgar.

It is hoped that it will be possible to fire these using Neolithic techniques at some point in the near future.

Anyone wishing to have a go at making their own Neolithic pot may be interested to know that Dr Copper will be running two more pottery workshops at the Ness on August 2.