The Ness of Brodgar: As it Stands
Our interim monograph, The Ness of Brodgar: As it Stands, was published in November 2020.
Excavation at the Ness began in 2006 and the book presents over a decade’s worth of information on all aspects of the monumental Neolithic site.
The book, which is the third volume in the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute research series, features contributions from institute staff as well as specialists from around the world, many of whom will be familiar to regular readers of the blog.
The result is 27 chapters, each devoted to different elements of the site, its excavation and interpretation. Fully illustrated in colour, we are sure the book will delight anyone with an interest in the prehistory of Orkney, Britain and Ireland.
Art and Architecture in Neolithic Orkney
There’s a brilliant book by our very own Dr Antonia Thomas, a long-standing member of the Ness dig team and an acknowledged expert on Neolithic art.
Art and Architecture is Neolithic Orkney: Process, Temporality and Context is lavishly illustrated, with many photographs of some of the carved stones from the Ness of Brodgar.
Many of Orkney’s Neolithic buildings survive in a remarkable state of preservation, allowing an understanding of the relationship between architectural space and the process of construction that is rarely achievable. Until recently, however, relatively little has been known about the decoration of these sites.
This book addresses that gap to offer a groundbreaking analysis of Neolithic art and architecture in Orkney. Focusing upon the incredible collection of hundreds of decorated stones being revealed by the excavations at the Ness of Brodgar, it details the results of the author’s original fieldwork both there and at the contemporary sites of Maeshowe and Skara Brae.
It provides the first major discussion of Orkney’s Neolithic carvings, and uses these as a springboard to challenge many of the traditional assumptions relating to Neolithic art and architecture. By foregrounding the architectural context of mark-making, this book explores how both buildings and carvings emerge though the embodied social practice of working stone, and how this relates to the wider context of life in Neolithic Orkney.
- The book is available to download here.
The Ness of Brodgar: Time and Place
The third edition of our guidebook, which replaced the 2017 edition, The Ness of Brodgar: Digging Deeper.
It brings the story of the excavations up to date, to the beginning of 2023 and, as with the previous editions, sets the scene from the beginning.
Written by the archaeologists of the Ness – and with a foreword by director of excavations Nick Card – the book sets the site in a global context and explains the events leading to the discovery of the Ness of Brodgar complex.
It describes what the excavations have uncovered so far and looks at the incredible buildings and some of the more extraordinary finds in detail.
- Towers, R., Card, N. and Edmonds, M. (2023) The Ness of Brodgar: Time and Place (Third Edition).
- Card, N., Edmonds, M. and Mitchell, A. (eds) (2020) The Ness of Brodgar: As it Stands. The Orcadian.
- Towers, R., Card, N. and Edmonds, M. (2017) The Ness of Brodgar: Digging Deeper (Second Edition). Kirkwall.
- Thomas, A. (2016). Art and architecture in Neolithic Orkney: process, temporality and context.
- Towers, R., Card, N. and Edmonds, M. (2015) The Ness of Brodgar. Kirkwall.
- Allington, M. L, Batt, C., Hill, M. and Card, N. (forthcoming) Developing Archaeomagnetic Dating by Intensity in the UK: a Case Study from Neolithic Orkney. Journal of Archaeological Science.
- Batt C.M., Outram Z., Harris S.E. and Card N. (Forthcoming) Telling the time in the Neolithic: Developing archaeomagnetic dating in Britain. Archaeometry/ Journal of Archaeological Science.
- Towrie, S. (2023) The Ness of Brodgar excavation 2022. Orkney Archaeology Review Vol 8. Orkney Archaeology Society.
- Hilts, C. (2023) The Ness of Brodgar – marking 20 years of Neolithic discoveries. Current Archaeology 395. 28-34.
- Blanz, M., Balasse, M., Card, N., Ascough, P., Fiorillo, D., Taggart, M.A., Feldmann, J. and Mainland, I. (2022) Life, Death and Teeth of Late Neolithic Sheep and Red Deer Excavated at Ness of Brodgar, Orkney Islands (UK). Environmental Archaeology, pp.1-13.
- Towrie, S. (2022) The Ness of Brodgar excavations 2021. Orkney Archaeology Review Vol 7. Orkney Archaeology Society.
- Lloyd, G. (2022) A microscopic analysis of the of the stone spatulate tools from the Ness of Brodgar. Orkney Archaeology Review Vol 7. Orkney Archaeology Society.
- Towrie, S. (2021) Evidence of textiles found at the Ness of Brodgar. Orkney Archaeology Review Vol 6. Orkney Archaeology Society.
- Lloyd, G. (2021) The stone spatulate tools of the Ness of Brodgar. Orkney Archaeology Review Vol 5. Orkney Archaeology Society.
- Brend, A., Card, N., Downes, J. and Edmonds, M. (eds) (2020) Landscapes Revealed: Geophysical Survey in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Area. Oxford: Windgather/Oxbow.
- Towrie, S. (2020) Ness of Brodgar. Orkney Archaeology Review Vol 5. Orkney Archaeology Society.
- Edmonds, M. (2019) Orcadia: Land, sea and stone in Neolithic Orkney. Head of Zeus Ltd.
- P. Bueno-Ramírez, R. de Balbín-Behrmann, R. Barroso-Bermejo, L. Laporte, Ph. Gouezin, F. Cousseau, L. Salanova, N. Card, G. Benetau, E. Mens, A. Sheridan, F. Carrera-Ramírez, A. Hernanz, M. Iriarte, K. Steelman (2019) From pigment to symbol: the role of paintings in the ideological construction of European megaliths. In Johannes Müller, Martin Hinz, Maria Wunderlich (eds) (2019) Megaliths – Societies – Landscapes: Early Monumentality and Social Differentiation in Neolithic Europe 2019 Proceedings of the international conference in Kiel, Volume 3, 845- 864, Bonn.
- Card, N., Jones, R., Towers, R. and Odling, N. (2019). Analysis of coloured Grooved Ware sherds from the Ness of Brodgar, Orkney. Journal of Archaeological Science, 28, . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2019.102014.
- Card, N. (2019) Towards a history of the Ness of Brodgar. Orkney Archaeology Review Vol 4. Orkney Archaeology Society.
- Card, N (2018) A Place of Celebration and Pilgrimage. British Archaeology, Sept-Oct, 44-47.
- Card, N. (2018) The Ness of Brodgar Uncovering Orkney’s Neolithic heart. Current Archaeology 335, 20-28.
- Harris, S., Batt, C. and Card, N. (2018) Developing Archaeomagnetic Dating for the Scottish Neolithic. Archaeology Scotland, 33, 14-17.
- Mainland, I., Harland, J., Card, N. and Downes, J. (2018) Feast or Famine? Faunal assemblages from Orkney. Archaeology Scotland, 32, 10-13.
- Card, N. and Mitchell A. (2018) Ness of Brodgar: Story of an amazing excavation. Orkney Archaeology Review Vol 3. Orkney Archaeology Society.
- Card, N., Mainland, I., Timpany, S., Towers, R., Batt, C., Bronk Ramsey, C., Dunbar, E., Reimer, P., Marshall, P. and Whittle, A. (2017) To cut a long story short: formal chronological modelling for the Late Neolithic site of Ness of Brodgar, Orkney. European Journal of Archaeology: 1–47. https://doi.org/10.1017/eaa.
- Card, N. (2017) Ness of Brodgar: Trench T. Orkney Archaeology Review Vol 2. Orkney Archaeology Society.
- Mitchell, A. (2017) The Ness of Brodgar: What happens to finds when they come out of the ground? Orkney Archaeology Review Vol 2. Orkney Archaeology Society.
- Shillito, LM, McKenzie, J, Card, N, Pike, S, and Chan, B (2015) Subsistence, technology and resource use in Neolithic Orkney: new interdisciplinary research at the Ness of Brodgar. Antiquity, 348, proj gall.
- Towers, R. and Card, N. (2015) Technological Adaptation in Grooved Ware Pottery from the Ness of Brodgar, Orkney: or how to make your cordons stick. SAJ 36–7 (2015): 51–63.
- Smith, R. (2014) Before Stonehenge. National Geographic August 2014, 26-51. https://www.
nationalgeographic.com/ magazine/2014/08/neolithic- orkney/
- Thomas, A. (2014) Art and Architecture at the Ness of Brodgar. British Archaeology. Sept-Oct, 16-21.
- Mainland, I., Card, N., Saunders, M.K., Webster, C., Isaksen, L., Downes, J., Littlewood, M. (2013) ‘SmartFauna’: a microscale GIS-based multi-dimensional approach to faunal deposition at the Ness of Brodgar, Orkney. Journal of Archaeological Science (2013), doi: 10.1016/ j.jas.2013.10.019.
- Card, N. and Thomas, A. (2012) Painting a picture of Neolithic Orkney: decorated stonework from the Ness of Brodgar. In Cochrane, A. and Jones, A. (eds) Neolithic visual culture: abstraction and figuration. Neolithic Studies Group Monograph, Oxbow.
- Card, N. (2012) The Ness of Brodgar. British Archaeology, 128, 14-21.
- Card, N. (2010) Neolithic Temples of the Northern Isles. Current Archaeology, 241, 12-19.
- Card, N. (2010) Colour, Cups and Tiles – recent discoveries at the Ness of Brodgar. PAST, 66, 1-3.
- Card, N., Downes, J., Gibson, J. & Ovenden, S. (2007) Bringing a landscape to life? – researching and managing the ‘The Heart of Neolithic Orkney’ World Heritage Site, World Archaeology 39(3), 417-435.
- Card, N, Cluett, J, Downes, J, Gater, J & Ovenden, S, (2007) ‘Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site: Building a landscape. In Larsson, M. and Parker Pearson, M. (eds) From Stonehenge to the Baltic: Living with Cultural Diversity in the Third Millennium BC, Brit Arch Report Inter Series 1692, 221-231.