Ness of Brodgar Timeline

c5000BCEvidence of Mesolithic activity on the Ness of Brodgar isthmus.
c3700BCEarliest evidence of farming in Orkney.
c3600BCNeolithic Settlements at Knap of Howar, Braes of Ha’Breck; Wideford Hill, Smerquoy; Stonehall.
c3500BCEarliest date for activity at Ness of Brodgar complex. A carinated bowl sherd (Early Neolithic) under Structure Fourteen.
c3300BCStructure Five at Ness of Brodgar (in Trench J adjacent to the ‘Great Wall of Brodgar’).
 Northern and southern boundary walls built – the southern wall on top of earlier structures.
 Early structures at Skara Brae.
c3200BCBarnhouse settlement in use.
 Early structures built at Ness of Brodgar (underneath buildings currently visible in Trench P).
c3100BCStructures One, Eight, Twelve and Fourteen constructed/in use.
 Standing Stones of Stenness erected (although the megaliths may not all have been erected at the same time).
c3000BCStones of Stenness in use.
 Northern boundary wall – the Great Wall of Brodgar – dismantled.
c2900BCPrimary use of piered buildings at the Ness finishes. Some remain a focus of activity, but on a less grand scale.
 Barnhouse settlement abandoned.
 Structure Eight at Barnhouse settlement site built.
 Structure Ten at Ness of Brodgar built.
c2800BCStructure Ten at Ness of Brodgar collapses and is rebuilt.
 Large piered structures at the Ness of Brodgar out of use. Infilled with midden and rubble and the site abandoned, except for Structure Ten.
c2700BCMaeshowe ditch dug. Before or after chamber?
c2600BCRing of Brodgar ditch dug. Before or after stones raised?
c2500BCStructure Ten hearth at Ness of Brodgar reused briefly.
c2450BCSkara Brae abandoned.
c2400BCThe remains of Structure Ten at the Ness of Brodgar were the focus of a massive feast.
 This saw the remains of at least 400 cattle placed in the passageway surrounding the building – marking the end of the Ness and the start of something new?
 Single sherd of early Bronze Age Beaker pottery and Bronze Age arrowhead found in the layers just above the bone deposit – the Neolithic in Orkney is drawing to a close.
c700BC and AD200Some time in the Iron Age, the huge midden mound to the south-east of the Ness of Brodgar main site was remodelled (now in Trench T).
 Not only was an Iron Age ditch cut into the mound, but a revetment wall, on the upslope side, was enhanced by a large bank, itself held at the rear by another revetment wall.
Feb 1925‘Brodgar Stone’ found while ploughing Ness of Brodgar site.
Apr 2003Notched stone and evidence of Structure One found while ploughing Ness of Brodgar site.