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Young people invited to join Neolithic dig at World Heritage Site

14 July 2011

Young people in Orkney are being given the opportunity to take part in one of the island’s most exciting archaeological digs.  ORCA (Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology) and WHS Rangers Service has teamed up to offer young people the chance to learn more about the Ness of Brodgar excavations by taking part in a series of archaeology workshops running this summer. The site is situated in the very Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site.

The workshops, which are running for the second year are organised by the World Heritage Site Ranger Service and will be run by archaeologist Helen Woodford-Dean. They are open to young people aged between 12-16 years and are designed to provide them with the opportunity to find out more about archaeology, learn excavation techniques and having the  chance to be part of one of the most exciting digs in the world.

The dig, which has been operating since 2003, is one of the most significant in the UK. It is led by ORCA’s Nick Card and involves archaeologists from Orkney College as well as Aberdeen, Glasgow and Cardiff universities. Volunteers also travel from across the world to take part.

Nick Card said; “Taking part in the dig is a brilliant opportunity for anyone with an interest in archaeology to work first hand on one of the most significant archaeological sites not only in Scotland but also in an international context.

“We ran the workshops for the first time last year and had a fantastic response from the public.

“Obviously, given the significance of the site, we need to ensure that those taking part are properly supported, but we’re really keen to get young people involved and learning more about archaeology and this is a great opportunity to find out more about Orkney’s rich and diverse history.”

Alongside the workshops, there will be site tours of the excavations Monday- Friday at 11am and 3pm for the duration of the dig from 20th July- 23rd August. The tours are free and are run by members of the dig and the Orkney World Heritage Site Ranger Service.

Elaine Clarke for Orkney Rangers said;

“This is a fantastic opportunity for young people who are interested in archaeology to have a go themselves. It can be really hard work, in all sorts of weather conditions, but the chance to be part of the team at the Ness working alongside archaeologists from all over the world and to share their extensive knowledge, is a tremendous way to find out more about the work and they do and this fascinating site."

The archaeological workshops are being held on July 26th and August 2nd, 9th and 16th.  There are a limited number of places available each day so booking is essential. Please contact the rangers on 01856 841732 for further information.

Notes for editors

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.


For further information


Iona Matheson
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8703 or 07827 956 858
iona.matheson@scotland.gsi.gov.uk