Excavation Neolithic Research

Re-excavating the stone circle – a look back at the 2008 Ring of Brodgar dig

After the original was lost, we’ve collected all the material from the 2008 Ring of Brodgar excavation dig diary, expanded on it, and made it available online again.
The bottom of the Ring of Brodgar's rock-cut ditch in 2008.  (📷 Colin Richards)
The bottom of the Ring of Brodgar’s rock-cut ditch in 2008. (📷 Colin Richards)

Almost 16 years ago, the Ring of Brodgar was the centre of a month-long excavation – the first at the iconic Orkney stone circle in 35 years.

Professor Colin Richards (left) and Bob Nunn at Trench C.  (📷 Sigurd Towrie)
Professor Colin Richards (left) and Bob Nunn at Trench C. (📷 Sigurd Towrie)

Leading the project were the UHI Archaeology Institute’s Professor Jane Downes and Professor Colin Richards (then of the University of Manchester).

The 2008 project involved the re-excavation and extension of trenches across the Brodgar ring’s ditch, dug by Professor Colin Renfrew in 1973.

Geophysical surveys were also undertaken to investigate the location of standing stones and other features within the monument.

An online diary was maintained throughout the dig, but this was lost after the host website was targeted by hackers in 2016. So, for posterity, we’ve collected all the lost material, expanded on it, and made it available again here.