There are often ongoing excavations in Orkney, and we include visits to these if any are accessible during your holiday. The most famous is the excavation of the Neolithic site of the Ness of Brodgar, situated between the Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar in the middle of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site. If your chosen ‘Orkney Adventure’ holiday coincides with the dig season we will include a visit to the dig as a bonus extra in the holiday itinerary.
The excavation at the Ness of Brodgar have been attracting a lot of attention recently - you may have seen television coverage of the site, with TV presenter Neil Oliver. There is a big new three part BBC documentary 'Britain's Ancient Capital - Secrets of Orkney' which is due to air in the UK in Spring 2017. The site is sometimes referred to as 'Orkney's Neolithic cathedral' or simply 'Orkney's stone age temple'. In addition to lots of press coverage from previous years - Current Archaeology, British Archaeology etc, in August 2014 the Ness of Brodgar and Orkney had a major feature (and was the cover story!) in the National Geographic magazine.
The 2017 Ness of Brodgar dig dates are confirmed as Monday 2nd July to Friday 24th August 2017.
It is hoped by the dig team that there will be an 8 week season in 2018, which should mean the 2018 dig may run from Monday 1st July to Friday 23rd August 2018, but this is subject to funding. It may only be possible to fund a 6 week dig, then the 2018 season would be perhaps from around the 8th July to the 16th August 2018.
The dates are not finally confirmed until much nearer the time, as fundraising in as ongoing process from year to year. We therefore cannot offer any guarantees that a particular holiday will include a visit to the Ness of Brodgar excavation. Please note that outside of the excavation season it is not possible to visit the dig site, since it is covered over to protect it until the following year.
The ongoing excavation at the Ness of Brodgar is dependent on support from individual and corporate sponsors (including us), local fundraising, members of the public and a small army of volunteers. The Ness has two charitable bodies, the Ness of Brodgar Trust, a registered Scottish Charity, registration number: SC044890, and the American Friends of the Ness of Brodgar, which is a United States tax-exempt 501 (c)(3) charity. Both of these charities exist to help in the fundraising effort and online donations can be made via their websites. Orkney Archaeology Tours is pleased to be able to help in this fundraising effort by sponsoring the web design and ongoing running costs of the websites for both of these fundraising organisations, together with the email marketing campaigns.