The first excavation at the Ness

Anyone who has been on a tour of the Ness will be familiar with the story of the notched slab that started it all.

The slab, which had been ploughed up, was thought to be part of a Bronze Age burial cist, so a rescue excavation was launched, led by Beverley Ballin-Smith and Gert Petersen, from the Glasgow University Research Division (GUARD).

There was no cist but what was revealed was part of a large, rectangular building – Structure One.

Joanna Lawson has sent us these pictures of the first excavation on the Ness, over 15 years ago.

The notched stone that began it all. (Joanna Lawson)

The notched stone that began it all. (Joanna Lawson)

Nigel Wheale and Carole Hoey beside the slab, in what would become Trench P. (Joanna Lawson)

Nigel Wheale and Carole Hoey beside the slab, in what would become Trench P. (Joanna Lawson)

Gert Peterson of GUARD. (Joanna Lawson)

Gert Petersen of GUARD. (Joanna Lawson)

Beverly Ballin Smith, from GUARD, outside the site. (Joanna Lawson)

Beverly Ballin-Smith, from GUARD, outside the site. (Joanna Lawson)

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