Talk:Ness of Brodgar

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The Times: "Ness of Brodgar discoveries ‘rival classical Greece’"[edit]

  • "It is a site which may come to rank alongside the great archaeological finds of Europe. Already the neolithic palace which is beginning to emerge at the Ness of Brodgar on Orkney is being compared in importance to the great classical monuments of ancient Greece, and last week, as the summer’s excavations came to an end, the man in charge of the dig described it as “an archaeologist’s dream site”. Nick Card, the senior project manager at the Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology (ORCA), says that the discoveries being made at Ness match those of the great sites such as the Acropolis in Athens, except the buildings being found here are more than 2,000 years older.“I don’t think there is anywhere like it in British prehistory,” he said. “It’s of a scale that almost relates to the classical period in the Mediterranean with walled enclosure and walled precincts that almost seem to have a non-domestic function like some of the great sites in Greece. Suddenly, with the discovery of the complex of buildings your whole vision of what the landscape was 5,000 years ago and your perception of how people lived have dramatically changed. The Ness of Brodgar is an archaeologist’s dream site. It changes our view of the neolithic at every turn. And it’s several lifetimes’ work.”"

Catherine Turnbull, The Times, 27 August 2011 --Mais oui! (talk) 12:36, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

See also the Brodgar Boy :D Ben MacDui 13:29, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
Ta. Do I see a new article coming? ;) --Mais oui! (talk) 17:18, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

Missing text? New TV Documentary[edit]

"Recent finds include Skaill knives[8] and hammer stones and the another, perhaps even bigger wall" [sic]. The "the another" suggests at best an uncompleted rewording, but possibly a larger removal.

The BBC Two/HD TV programme "A History of Ancient Britain Special: Orkney's Stone Age Temple" broadcast on 9:05PM Sun, 1 Jan 2012 has just described this site in more detail: it's on the iPlayer and will be repeated on BBC HD Mon 9 Jan 2012 at 23:00 - I leave it to those with more archaelogical expertise to incorporate any new material. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 02:02, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

World Heritage[edit]

It is a bit awkward the way this is handled. The site is included in the Navbox for Prehistoric Orkney under the category "World Heritage Site" and is named on the article page for "Heart of Neolithic Orkney" but obviously was not explicitly included in the 1999 decision. If someone has a source clarifying the status of the site it would be very helpful.Drow69 (talk) 15:04, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

BBC 2017 documentary[edit]

The BBC Two documentary series Britain's Ancient Capital: Secrets of Orkney, broadcast in January 2017, revealed an earliest possible habitation date, using radio carbon dating, of 3512 BC - 3425 BC (95.4% probability) i.e. about 500 years earlier than the earliest of the remaining structures. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:14, 2 January 2017 (UTC)

  • Well, the article (and sources) say ~3,300 BC for the first structures unearthed so far, and the documentary found charcoal dated to ~3,500 BC. That seems reasonably compatible to me.—S Marshall T/C 22:54, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
  • It seemed to be a much bigger deal in the programme. I'm not sure why that was. Martinevans123 (talk) 12:21, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
  • I took issue with the programme a bit actually. What was the point of rock climbing bloke? You can look at rock layers from ground level on Orkney so I have no idea why he was there. And I'm not sure why they flew wildlife experts up there when all the vole needed was a map and some DNA profiles with a voice over. I think some suit at the BBC decided, quite wrongly, that Neil Oliver talking about the Ness of Brodgar wasn't interesting enough and they needed to sex it up. Anyway, we've got clear dates of 3,300-3,200BC for the earliest stone structures and what they've added is some charcoal from a couple of centuries before that... I wonder what the size of the error bar is. Need to wait for the archaeologists to get down to the deepest layers really.—S Marshall T/C 18:09, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
Even with my modest understanding of archaeology I realise that the oldest stuff is at the bottom, and it's not clear they have got there yet. Neil Oliver was clear to stress that there was "serious building going on" at the Ness as long ago as 3512 BC. Yes, the excursion to exciting climb of "North Gaulton Castle was a bit of adventure for the sake of it. The main point of the programme seemed to be that Skara Brae was the template for all neolithic buildings in Britain and that the buildings at the Ness, because the oldest, must have beeb the very first part of the jigsaw and the "centre" of the entire culture. Martinevans123 (talk) 19:13, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
Oh, thanks for reminding me. I took a few dozen photos of Skara Brae which I need to upload. The Ness and Skara Brae are amazing places, of central importance in world archaeology, but neither is the oldest on Orkney (see the Knap of Howar). Serious building may have been going on at the Ness in 3500 BC, or earlier, but if so the evidence for it has yet to be revealed. Charcoal isn't evidence of construction.—S Marshall T/C 19:49, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
I see. You sound like quite an enthusiast, and a knowledgable one! I just thought this programme might be a possible external link or something. Martinevans123 (talk) 19:56, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
The media isn't a reliable source for dates anyway. I thought this review was amusing. And S Marshall is right about the charcoal. Doug Weller talk 20:12, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
Haha, yes that's pretty accurate. Shucks, and I thought radio carbon dating was as good as you could get. Martinevans123 (talk) 20:23, 4 January 2017 (UTC) p.s. as far as I'm concerned, all the Natural History "sexing up" is currently going on over at Yellowstone.
Actually I have to admit that I was hoping you could see me in that programme. I was there when they were filming for it (and in fact you can see Neil Oliver talking to the camera in a few of my snaps of the Ness of Brodgar) but no such luck, they cut me. Or I cracked the camera lens or something. Yes, I'm certainly an enthusiast... or sad archaeology nerd...—S Marshall T/C 20:37, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
It's nice to meet someone who knows what they are talking about. Most of the time I am just guessing. Martinevans123 (talk) 20:40, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

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