The excavation of Structure Twenty-Six’s began in August 2016, when Trench P was extended to investigate walling revealed adjacent the south-western section of Structure Ten’s paved external passageway.
Measuring around 6.5m by 4.5m, Structure Twenty-Six is one of a group of smaller buildings constructed late in the history of the Ness of Brodgar complex.
Featuring a single, narrow entrance in the south-west corner, its interior was dominated by a rectangular hearth flanked by a large orthostat featuring decoration on both sides.
Long and low, the thin slab ran SW-NE and defined a single rectangular recess along building’s eastern wall.
The structure’s walls were a mix of different construction styles, probably incorporating sections of earlier buildings. Some of the wall sections were freestanding while others had been partially dug into midden.
Early in its excavation Twenty-Six began producing material at odds with its size and construction. This included fine examples of decorated and dressed stone which, together with geologically recognisable stone previously encountered in Structure Twelve (and its earlier incarnation Structure Twenty-Eight), suggests Twenty-Six was constructed from material robbed from it and the collapsed primary phase of Structure Ten.
Discovered in 1995 and excavated until 1999, radiocarbon dates suggest that the Stonehall building’s D-shaped phase pre-dates the Ness’ Structure Twenty-Six by at least three centuries.