Structure Eight from above. (Scott Pike)

Contrary to what many people think, the Ness is NOT a project paid for by business or large government grants.

Almost 80 per cent of our funding comes from public donations – especially during the summer dig seasons.

The length of the Ness of Brodgar excavation season is not controlled by the Orcadian weather, personnel limitations, site access or any other physical constraint — it is simply a function of available funding.

Raising funds is an ongoing process because excavation on this scale is expensive.

Despite the involvement of volunteers and students from around the world and in-kind support, a dig season costs, including post-excavation, over £200,000 every year.

Sample costs

Sheet of waterproof A3 drawing film (300 per season) £1.15/$1.50 each
Archive acid-free storage box (100 per year) £3.25/$4.50 each
Trowel £14/$18 each
Basic environmental sample processing (500 per year) £15/$20 each
Slide manufacture for micromorph analysis £70/$100 each
Professional supervisor for excavation, survey or on-site finds processing (12 required each year) £135/$180 per day
Specialist analysis (ranging from) £150-300 ($200-400) per day
Plant hire (circa) £250/$330 per season
Radiocarbon dates (circa) £300/$400 each
On-site stationery, drawing film etc  (circa) £1,200/$1,600 per season
Portacabin hire £1,200/$1,600 per season
Viewing platform for visitors £2,100/$2,795 per season
Overall, the excavations cost (circa) £2,500/$3,325 per day
Annual interim report – research, writing, production £12,000/$16,000

The Ness of Brodgar Trust and American Friends of the Ness of Brodgar charities were set-up to raise the funds without which the excavation simply would not happen.

  • Contact us if you want to discuss corporate sponsorship, either in kind or financial. We are always glad of your support.
  • Contact us too if you want to discuss legacy-giving.