Micromorphology at the Ness on the agenda at Budapest conference

Dr Jo McKenzie at work on one of the hearth in Structure Eight in 2019. (📷 Jo Bourne)

Micromorphologist Dr Jo McKenzie will deliver a paper on the Ness of Brodgar at the European Association of Archaeologists annual meeting in Budapest tomorrow, Thursday, September 1.

The paper, co-authored by Jo and site director Nick Card, is entitled Building in the detail: micro-stratigraphic approaches to understanding Neolithic structures at the Ness of Brodgar.

It discusses the results of targeted micromorphological analysis on site which saw samples recovered from four buildings (Structures One, Eight, Twelve and Fourteen).

These illustrate the data obtainable through micromorphology at this richly preserved site – detail on fuel types and patterning in conjunction with hearth placements within the buildings, the composition of “floor” surfaces and their comparability between structures, and the composition of deposits in areas of special interest or unusual construction.

The micromorphological data has also contributed to studies into wider questions of how the Ness complex was built, used and what it represented.

Jo’s presentation concludes with an introduction to other avenues of investigation such as preservation and distribution of botanical material and environmental resources, complementary foci for micromorphological and other geochemical techniques, and researching the significance of geological typologies to the people of the Ness.

All eyes were on Dr Jo McKenzie today, pictured here beginning the process to recover the timber deposits from Structure Twelve. (Sigurd Towrie)
Dr Jo McKenzie beginning the process to recover the timber deposits from Structure Twelve in 2021. (📷 Sigurd Towrie)

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