The discovery of this vast six acre Neolithic site in 2002 is one of the most significant archaeological finds in Western Europe, providing a unique insight to a prehistoric civilisation in the British Isles.
Excavations began in 2003 and continue today, but only for an eight-week period each year during July and August. Under the watchful eye of Project Manager Nick Card, the site has provided valuable evidence of housing, stone wall enclosures and a Neolithic cathedral. Artefacts found by Nick and his team suggest it was a place of worship, pilgrimage and trade.
The discoveries made at the Ness of Brodgar are unparalleled, prompting historians to rethink their vision of ancient Britain 5,000 years ago. Indeed, some archaeologists believe the site to be more important than Stonehenge!
Recent finds have astonished the archaeology world. In July 2010 a red, orange and yellow coloured rock was unearthed - the first evidence in Britain that Neolithic peoples used paint to decorate their buildings. A year later, a baked clay artefact known as the Brodgar Boy was discovered in rubble, while an intricately-inscribed stone, described as 'potentially the finest example of Neolithic art found in the UK for many decades', delighted archaeologists in 2013.
The 2017 excavation dates have been confirmed as Monday 3rd July until Friday 25th August. Public access and guided tours start on Wednesday 5th July until Wednesday 23rd August. Find out more about visiting the Ness of Brodgar in 2017 by clicking here.
You can also learn more about the project with the official website.
Visitors should note that outwith the annual dig dates, the site is covered to protect it from the elements.