Meet the Team 2017

Tonnie Richmond

My name is Tonnie Richmond, I have been coming up to dig at The Ness for ten years. I am getting a bit ancient and can only manage a couple of weeks these days. I’ve been involved in various digs ever since I retired, and wish I’d studied archaeology years ago. I feel privileged to have been involved with the Ness for so long – the best site  and best people in the UK by a mile.

Sam Harris

I am currently a PhD candidate at the University of Bradford. My thesis is entitled, “Developing Archaeomagnetic Dating in the Scottish Neolithic”.

I will be returning to the Ness this summer, for the second time, having only briefly seen the site over a week last year.

You will most likely find me sampling one of the many amazing hearths the site has to offer!

My background is archaeological sciences although I spent two years broadening my horizons into longer and much earlier time scales at Lancaster University, where I studied the geomagnetic polarities during the Ordovician and Silurian epochs and then the later Triassic.

Fieldwork for this took me to Poland, Sweden, Ukraine and Svalbard (I counted myself very lucky!)

For those of you that I don’t bore, you’re welcome to ask any questions. In addition to archaeology, I live and breathe for travel and cookery.

I look forward to raising a glass with you all, sláinte mhór!

Tom O’Laughlin

Looks like another season at Ness. You can easily identify me, as I likely will be the oldest excavator on site. But, that’s what I do and have done since I was 16. Excavation, that is. Mostly in the American Southwest. Places like Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde.

A friend and I had a commercial archaeological firm for awhile. I also directed a university contract archaeological program for a bit. Then, I found my niche in museums…natural history, archaeology, history and even art museums.

When I’m not kayaking, sailboat racing or cruising in the San Juan Islands, I analyze flotation samples and faunal remains…or do more excavation. Since 2002, I have been a principal in an ongoing project focused on late prehistoric Pueblo and Spanish Mission settlements in central New Mexico.

So, look for the wizened old dude on site or catch me up at the Bothy.

Kaitlin O’Neill

This will be my third season working at the Ness, and I’m absolutely thrilled to be coming back!

After graduating from Willamette University last year, with BAs in Anthropology and Archaeology, I have been stuck in my native Southern California for the last year, so hopefully the temperate weather of home hasn’t made me too weak to handle the fickle Orcadian summer (if you can even really call it a summer)

When I’m not digging or reading, my other passions are travel and photography.

I’ve been doing photography for about nine years and, given the gorgeous Orcadian landscapes, finding beautiful places to photograph here is quite an easy task!

After taking an extra year off work, I hope to start an MA program next year with a focus on British and Irish rock art.

I’m extremely excited to come back to the Ness and work with all of the amazing people that this site attracts, along with seeing what wonderful things we uncover this year.

Lesley-Ann Mather

I have worked as an archaeologist for over 18 years, initially within the contracting side but moving over to curatorial work in 2000.

I have worked in a number of counties, the most recent being Northamptonshire, where I am the county archaeological advisor.

This involves advising on planning policy for the historic environment and managing the archaeological impact of major development schemes.

During my time as a curator I have also directed excavations in Italy.

In the last few years, I volunteered with the University of Birmingham, who were working in Qatar, collaborating with the Qatari Museum Service.

This is my fourth year on the Ness – unfortunately only for two weeks!

My research interests include the development and improvement of archaeological fieldwork methodology and implementation of current planning legislation as a cultural heritage management tool.

Andy Thomas

I have worked in archaeology for over 25 years. For the first nine years, I worked for contracting units, including Bristol, Bedfordshire, North Yorkshire, and Goucestershire.

Since 1998, I have worked as a planning archaeologist for Cambridgeshire County Council. Since moving to Cambridge I have also taken time out from my day job to direct excavations on a research project in the Abruzzo region of Italy and I have also worked in Qatar with the University of Birmingham.

My interests tend towards the prehistory of north-west Europe and the contribution that archaeology can make to the unique character of emerging new communities.

Megan Card

Hi. My name is Megan and I am the “Boss’s’” oldest daughter (and professional lunch maker).

I go to school at the Academy in Stromness.

This is my second year helping at the Ness. I mostly help Anne in the finds hut and also Annabelle in the OAS shop.

I look forward to seeing lots of old faces and some new ones at the Ness this year.

Sarah Jane Gibbon

I am an historical archaeologist imposter at the Ness of Brodgar, and will be guiding on some of the weekend site tours.

I’ve be lucky enough to live in Orkney all my life (excepting five years studying in Glasgow) and have always been fascinated by the heritage and culture of my home.

I am a lecturer at the UHI Archaeology Institute, where I have the privilege of teaching others about this wonderful place.

It’s been nearly twenty years since I excavated a Neolithic site and so I’m looking forward to being part of the Ness 2015 team and who knows I might even get me trowel out in 2016!

Natasha Powers

I am senior manager at Allen Archaeology Ltd and spend my time split between the south coast and Lincoln, but I cut my archaeological teeth excavating in the Northern Isles and consider myself really fortunate to have been able to work at the Ness the past two summers.

I was previously the Head of Osteology at MOLA, working on everything from prehistoric cremation burials to 19th century inhumations, with the odd set of false teeth thrown in for good measure.

I have worked as a field archaeologist on commercial excavations throughout the UK and Ireland.

The Rangers

The ranger service has been involved in the Ness dig delivering the afternoon tours of the site.

Along with their small team of volunteers, they also support the Digging up the Past event for young people, aged between 12 and 16, on Tuesday mornings.

Pictured right are ranger Keith Brown, Volunteer Eleanor MacLeod, Volunteer Tracey Linklater, Ranger Sandra Miller, Ranger Elaine Clarke and Volunteer Fraser Macnaughton.