New Finds Unveil Famous Ness Of Brodgar Neolithic Settlement

Whale bones and some of the UK’s oldest steps are among new finds unveiled at the famous Ness of Brodgar Neolithic settlement in Orkney.

The Ness of Brodgar, next to the famous Ring of Brodgar, is one of the most important sites of its type in Europe.

University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) archaeologists have finished seven weeks of excavation in the first season back after the pandemic.

They say what they have found this year has got the whole team excited.

The site has been under excavation since 2004, revealing a complex of Neolithic buildings.

Site director Nick Card said: “We’ve expanded Trench J and revealed more of the northern wall – The Great Wall of Brodgar – and we can see stone steps built and actually integrated into it and these are some of the earliest steps in the UK.

“Again we see the Ness being a centre for innovation.”

Stone steps have been found
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Also in Trench J is Structure 5, the earliest building on site which dates back to 3,400 BC.

An expansion of the digging here revealed an unexpected find.

Project officer Anne Mitchell said: “There are these post-holes in the structure and we’ve found some quite interesting deposits in those.

“One by the side of the trench had a whale bone in it, a vertebrae sideways on, which we’re very carefully going to conserve and perhaps even find out what type of whale it was.”

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