REVIEW BY CH
The Ness of Brodgar in Orkney is home to a remarkable range of Neolithic buildings, uncovered over the last 20 years. We reviewed the excavation team’s guidebook in 2018 (CA 338) but since then the story has advanced dramatically, and an updated version reflecting recent developments (and adding almost 30 pages) has now been released.
The scale of progress is clear when comparing the two: 2018’s guide speaks of c.600 examples of decorated stone and c.40.000 pottery sherds; its successor describes c.1,000 and c.100,000. While the books share some text, there is plentiful new content, including a spread unpicking the complex sequence of buildings; the source and significance of their materials; explorations of midden material and animal bone; and a fuller discussion of the pottery, including analysis of food resid ues and of prehistoric potters’ fingerprints.
Sections on individual structures have also been updated and extra buildings added, including Structure 5 – the oldest yet found there. An absorbing read and an invaluable introduction to the site.
Nick Card www.nessofbrodgar.co.uk, £10 ISBN 978-0993275753