Saturday, March 11, 2017, 2:00 PM: Nick Card, University of the Highlands and Islands

Secrets of the Ness of Brodgar: a Stone-Age Complex in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site

Abstract

Off the northernmost tip of Scotland lies the Orkney Islands where it is said that if you scratch its surface Orkney bleeds archaeology! This is nowhere truer than in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site that is renown for some of the most iconic prehistoric monuments of Atlantic Europe: the great stone circles of the Ring of Brodgar and the Stones of Stenness; Maeshowe the finest chambered tomb in northern Europe; and the exceptionally well preserved 5,000-year-old village of Skara Brae.

Recent research and excavation in this area is radicalizing our views of this period and providing a sharp contrast to the Stonehenge centric view of the Neolithic. In particular, the stunning discovery of a Neolithic complex at the Ness of Brodgar that was enclosed within a large walled precinct is changing our perceptions. The magnificence of the Ness structures with their refinement, scale, and symmetry decorated with color and artwork, bears comparison with the great temples of Malta.

These excavations are revealing a 5,000 year old complex, socially stratified, and dynamic society.

The Ness excavations were recognized by the American Institute of Archaeology as one of the great discoveries in 2009; named the 2011 Current Archeology Research Project of the Year; winner of the international Andante Travel Archaeology Award in 2012; and featured in cover article in National Geographic in 2014.

Bio

Nick Card is an Honorary Research Fellow of the University of the Highlands and Islands, a Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquarians of Scotland, a Member of Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site Research Committee, Chair of the Ness of Brodgar Trust and Vice president of the American Friends of the Ness of Brodgar.

Since the inscription of Orkney’s World Heritage Site (WHS) the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, he has been involved in research and fieldwork relating to the sites: as director of the excavations at Bookan Chambered Tomb; as co-ordinator of the WHS geophysics programme; and as a major contributor to the Research Agenda. His interests lie in all aspects of the prehistory of Britain and the Highlands and Islands with particular reference to the Neolithic. He has also co- directed the major excavations at the extensive Bronze Age cemetery of the Knowes of Trotty and the Iron Age complex at Mine Howe, both of which are nearing publication.

Since 2004 Nick has directed the Ness of Brodgar excavations in the very heart of the WHS. This project has evolved from several seasons of small-scale test trenches and evaluations to large scale excavation that has become internationally recognised and reported widely in both the popular and academic press including the cover article in National Geographic August 2014.

Nick has lectured widely in the UK and abroad at all levels on the Ness excavations, the WHS and Orcadian archaeology in general. Since 2010 he has also undertaken four mini-lecture tours of the USA speaking by invitation to a number of institutions including the Smithsonian, Harvard Clubs of DC and NY, the Sorbonne, the British Museum, the Australian Museum, the AIA in Salem, Oregon, the George Bush Memorial Library in Texas, and the Explorers Club in DC.  He is an AIA Kress Lecturer for 2016/2017.

Curriculum Vitae

University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute,
East Road
Kirkwall
Orkney, KW15 1LX
UK

Education: MA Honours from Glasgow University

Honors and awards:

Nick Card is an Honorary Research Fellow of the University of the Highlands and Islands; Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists; Fellow of the Society of Antiquarians of Scotland;
Member of Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site Research Committee; Chair of the Ness of Brodgar Trust and Vice president of the American Friends of the Ness of Brodgar

In 2008 the Ness of Brodgar was runner-up in the international Andante Travel Archaeology Award (winner was the University of San Francisco’s work at Pompeii)

In 2009 the Ness of Brodgar was recognized by the Archaeological Institute of America as one of the great discoveries of that year

In 2011 the Ness of Brodgar was awarded the Current Archaeology (national British magazine) Research Project of the Year

In 2011 the Ness was noted and acknowledged in a motion in the Scottish Parliament

In 2012 the Ness of Brodgar won the international Andante Travel Archaeology Award

In 2013 the Ness of Brodgar was nominated for Educational Travel Community Award

In 2014 the Ness was nominated by Archaeology Scotland for a British Archaeology Award

Past positions: Freelance archaeologist; Projects Manager for the Orkney Archaeology Trust
Areas of specialization: British prehistory particularly the Neolithic of Scotland

Selected Publications

2005 Resource Assessment (History of Research; Prehistoric Periods and various Appendices). In Downes, J, Foster, S M & Wickham-Jones, C R with Callister, J The Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site Research Agenda, Edinburgh.

2006 Excavations at Bookan Chambered Cairn, Sandwick, Orkney, Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 135 (2005), 163-190.

2010 Neolithic Temples of the Northern Isles Current Archaeology, 241, 12-19.

2010b Colour, Cups and Tiles – recent discoveries at the Ness of Brodgar, PAST, 66, 1-3.

2012 The Ness of Brodgar, British Archaeology, 128, 14-21

Card, N & Downes, J 2003 ‘Mine Howe – the significance of space and place in the Iron Age’. In Downes, J & Ritchie, A (eds) 2003, Sea Change, Orkney and Northern Europe in the Later Iron Age AD 300-800, 11-19.

Card, N, Downes, J, Gibson, J & Sharman, P 2005 ‘The Mine Howe Environs Project’, Current Archaeology, 199, 322-327.

Card, N, Gater, J, Ovenden, S & Shiel, D 2005 ‘The Heart of Neolithic Orkney’, Current Archaeology, 199, 342-347.

Gater, J, Sheil, D, Card, N & Ovenden, S, 2006 Geophysical Survey at the Orkney World Heritage Site. In Jones, R E & Sharpe, L (eds) Going over Old Ground, Brit Arch Rep Brit Ser 416, 231-233.

Card, N, Downes, J, Gibson, J & Ovenden, S 2007 ‘Bringing a landscape to life? – researching and managing the ‘The Heart of Neolithic Orkney’ World Heritage Site, World Archaeology 39(3), 417-435.

Card, N, Cluett, J, Downes, J, Gater, J & Ovenden, S, 2007 ‘ Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site: Building a landscape’, In Larsson, M and Parker Pearson, M (eds) From Stonehenge to the Baltic: Living with Cultural Diversity in the Third Millennium BC, Brit Arch Report Inter Series 1692, 221-231.

Card, N, Gater, J, Gaffney, C, & Wood, E 2007 Archaeological Landscapes Emerging Through Geophysical Survey; the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site. In Fleming, A and Hingley, R (eds) Prehistoric and Roman Landscapes. Windgather Press.

Jones, R, Challands, A, French, C, Card, N, Downes, J and Richards, C 2010 Exploring the location and function of a Late Neolithic house at Crossiecrown, Orkney by geophysical, geochemical and soil micromorphological methods, Archaeological Prospection 17, 29-47.

Card, N and Thomas, A 2012 Painting a picture of Neolithic Orkney: decorated stonework from the Ness of Brodgar, in Cochrane, A and Jones, A (eds) Neolithic visual culture: abstraction and figuration, Neolithic Studies Group Monograph, Oxbow.

Loveday, R, Anderson-Whymark, H, Card, N and Thomas, A 2012 Chiselling Marks at Maeshowe, PAST, 72, 5-7.

Mainland, I., Card, N., Saunders, M.K., Webster, C., Isaksen, L., Downes, J., Littlewood, M., 2013 ‘SmartFauna’: a microscale GIS-based multi-dimensional approach to faunal deposition at the Ness of Brodgar, Orkney, Journal of Archaeological Science (2013), doi: 10.1016/ j.jas.2013.10.019.

Towers, R and Card, N 2015 Technological Adaptation in Grooved Ware Pottery from the Ness of Brodgar, Orkney: or how to make your cordons stick, SAJ 36–7 (2015): 51–63

Shillito, LM, McKenzie, J, Card, N, Pike, S, and Chan, B 2015 Subsistence, technology and resource use in Neolithic Orkney: new interdisciplinary research at the Ness of Brodgar, Antiquity

Mainland, I, Towers J, Ewens, V, Davis, G, Montgomery, J, Batey, C and Card, N 2015 Toiling with teeth: an integrated dental analysis of sheep and cattle dentition in Iron Age and Viking-Late Norse Orkney, JAS

Card, N, Towers, R and Edmonds, M 2015 The Ness of Brodgar, Kirkwall.

Richards, C, Card, N, Downes, J & Jones, RE 2016 The settlement of Crossiecrown: the Grey and the Red Houses. In Jones, R and Richards, C (eds) The Development of Neolithic House Societies in Orkney. Oxbow

Batt CM, Outram Z, Harris SE and Card N Forthcoming Telling the time in the Neolithic: Developing archaeomagnetic dating in Britain. Archaeometry/JAS

Card, N, Downes, J, Gibson, C and Sharman, P (eds) Forthcoming Mine Howe, Orkney: an Iron Age complex

Card, N, Downes, J, and Edmonds, M (eds) Forthcoming Landscapes Revealed: Remote sensing around the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site. Oxford: Windgather/Oxbow Press

Jones, R, Towers, R and Card, N forthcoming Analysis of decorated Grooved Ware sherds from Ness of Brodgar, Orkney, JAS

Card, N, Mainland, I, Timpany, S, Towers, R, Batt, C, Bronk Ramsey, C, Dunbar, E, Reimer, P, Marshall, P and Whittle, A Forthcoming Formal chronological modelling for the Late Neolithic site of Ness of Brodgar, Orkney, EJA

Saturday, March 11, 2017, 2:00 PM: Nick Card, University of the Highlands and Islands

Secrets of the Ness of Brodgar: a Stone-Age Complex in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site

Abstract

Off the northernmost tip of Scotland lies the Orkney Islands where it is said that if you scratch its surface Orkney bleeds archaeology! This is nowhere truer than in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site that is renown for some of the most iconic prehistoric monuments of Atlantic Europe: the great stone circles of the Ring of Brodgar and the Stones of Stenness; Maeshowe the finest chambered tomb in northern Europe; and the exceptionally well preserved 5,000-year-old village of Skara Brae.

Recent research and excavation in this area is radicalizing our views of this period and providing a sharp contrast to the Stonehenge centric view of the Neolithic. In particular, the stunning discovery of a Neolithic complex at the Ness of Brodgar that was enclosed within a large walled precinct is changing our perceptions. The magnificence of the Ness structures with their refinement, scale, and symmetry decorated with color and artwork, bears comparison with the great temples of Malta.

These excavations are revealing a 5,000 year old complex, socially stratified, and dynamic society.

The Ness excavations were recognized by the American Institute of Archaeology as one of the great discoveries in 2009; named the 2011 Current Archeology Research Project of the Year; winner of the international Andante Travel Archaeology Award in 2012; and featured in cover article in National Geographic in 2014.

Bio

Nick Card is an Honorary Research Fellow of the University of the Highlands and Islands, a Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquarians of Scotland, a Member of Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site Research Committee, Chair of the Ness of Brodgar Trust and Vice president of the American Friends of the Ness of Brodgar.

Since the inscription of Orkney’s World Heritage Site (WHS) the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, he has been involved in research and fieldwork relating to the sites: as director of the excavations at Bookan Chambered Tomb; as co-ordinator of the WHS geophysics programme; and as a major contributor to the Research Agenda. His interests lie in all aspects of the prehistory of Britain and the Highlands and Islands with particular reference to the Neolithic. He has also co- directed the major excavations at the extensive Bronze Age cemetery of the Knowes of Trotty and the Iron Age complex at Mine Howe, both of which are nearing publication.

Since 2004 Nick has directed the Ness of Brodgar excavations in the very heart of the WHS. This project has evolved from several seasons of small-scale test trenches and evaluations to large scale excavation that has become internationally recognised and reported widely in both the popular and academic press including the cover article in National Geographic August 2014.

Nick has lectured widely in the UK and abroad at all levels on the Ness excavations, the WHS and Orcadian archaeology in general. Since 2010 he has also undertaken four mini-lecture tours of the USA speaking by invitation to a number of institutions including the Smithsonian, Harvard Clubs of DC and NY, the Sorbonne, the British Museum, the Australian Museum, the AIA in Salem, Oregon, the George Bush Memorial Library in Texas, and the Explorers Club in DC.  He is an AIA Kress Lecturer for 2016/2017.

Curriculum Vitae

University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute,
East Road
Kirkwall
Orkney, KW15 1LX
UK

Education: MA Honours from Glasgow University

Honors and awards:

Nick Card is an Honorary Research Fellow of the University of the Highlands and Islands; Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists; Fellow of the Society of Antiquarians of Scotland;
Member of Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site Research Committee; Chair of the Ness of Brodgar Trust and Vice president of the American Friends of the Ness of Brodgar

In 2008 the Ness of Brodgar was runner-up in the international Andante Travel Archaeology Award (winner was the University of San Francisco’s work at Pompeii)

In 2009 the Ness of Brodgar was recognized by the Archaeological Institute of America as one of the great discoveries of that year

In 2011 the Ness of Brodgar was awarded the Current Archaeology (national British magazine) Research Project of the Year

In 2011 the Ness was noted and acknowledged in a motion in the Scottish Parliament

In 2012 the Ness of Brodgar won the international Andante Travel Archaeology Award

In 2013 the Ness of Brodgar was nominated for Educational Travel Community Award

In 2014 the Ness was nominated by Archaeology Scotland for a British Archaeology Award

Past positions: Freelance archaeologist; Projects Manager for the Orkney Archaeology Trust
Areas of specialization: British prehistory particularly the Neolithic of Scotland

Selected Publications

2005 Resource Assessment (History of Research; Prehistoric Periods and various Appendices). In Downes, J, Foster, S M & Wickham-Jones, C R with Callister, J The Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site Research Agenda, Edinburgh.

2006 Excavations at Bookan Chambered Cairn, Sandwick, Orkney, Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 135 (2005), 163-190.

2010 Neolithic Temples of the Northern Isles Current Archaeology, 241, 12-19.

2010b Colour, Cups and Tiles – recent discoveries at the Ness of Brodgar, PAST, 66, 1-3.

2012 The Ness of Brodgar, British Archaeology, 128, 14-21

Card, N & Downes, J 2003 ‘Mine Howe – the significance of space and place in the Iron Age’. In Downes, J & Ritchie, A (eds) 2003, Sea Change, Orkney and Northern Europe in the Later Iron Age AD 300-800, 11-19.

Card, N, Downes, J, Gibson, J & Sharman, P 2005 ‘The Mine Howe Environs Project’, Current Archaeology, 199, 322-327.

Card, N, Gater, J, Ovenden, S & Shiel, D 2005 ‘The Heart of Neolithic Orkney’, Current Archaeology, 199, 342-347.

Gater, J, Sheil, D, Card, N & Ovenden, S, 2006 Geophysical Survey at the Orkney World Heritage Site. In Jones, R E & Sharpe, L (eds) Going over Old Ground, Brit Arch Rep Brit Ser 416, 231-233.

Card, N, Downes, J, Gibson, J & Ovenden, S 2007 ‘Bringing a landscape to life? – researching and managing the ‘The Heart of Neolithic Orkney’ World Heritage Site, World Archaeology 39(3), 417-435.

Card, N, Cluett, J, Downes, J, Gater, J & Ovenden, S, 2007 ‘ Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site: Building a landscape’, In Larsson, M and Parker Pearson, M (eds) From Stonehenge to the Baltic: Living with Cultural Diversity in the Third Millennium BC, Brit Arch Report Inter Series 1692, 221-231.

Card, N, Gater, J, Gaffney, C, & Wood, E 2007 Archaeological Landscapes Emerging Through Geophysical Survey; the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site. In Fleming, A and Hingley, R (eds) Prehistoric and Roman Landscapes. Windgather Press.

Jones, R, Challands, A, French, C, Card, N, Downes, J and Richards, C 2010 Exploring the location and function of a Late Neolithic house at Crossiecrown, Orkney by geophysical, geochemical and soil micromorphological methods, Archaeological Prospection 17, 29-47.

Card, N and Thomas, A 2012 Painting a picture of Neolithic Orkney: decorated stonework from the Ness of Brodgar, in Cochrane, A and Jones, A (eds) Neolithic visual culture: abstraction and figuration, Neolithic Studies Group Monograph, Oxbow.

Loveday, R, Anderson-Whymark, H, Card, N and Thomas, A 2012 Chiselling Marks at Maeshowe, PAST, 72, 5-7.

Mainland, I., Card, N., Saunders, M.K., Webster, C., Isaksen, L., Downes, J., Littlewood, M., 2013 ‘SmartFauna’: a microscale GIS-based multi-dimensional approach to faunal deposition at the Ness of Brodgar, Orkney, Journal of Archaeological Science (2013), doi: 10.1016/ j.jas.2013.10.019.

Towers, R and Card, N 2015 Technological Adaptation in Grooved Ware Pottery from the Ness of Brodgar, Orkney: or how to make your cordons stick, SAJ 36–7 (2015): 51–63

Shillito, LM, McKenzie, J, Card, N, Pike, S, and Chan, B 2015 Subsistence, technology and resource use in Neolithic Orkney: new interdisciplinary research at the Ness of Brodgar, Antiquity

Mainland, I, Towers J, Ewens, V, Davis, G, Montgomery, J, Batey, C and Card, N 2015 Toiling with teeth: an integrated dental analysis of sheep and cattle dentition in Iron Age and Viking-Late Norse Orkney, JAS

Card, N, Towers, R and Edmonds, M 2015 The Ness of Brodgar, Kirkwall.

Richards, C, Card, N, Downes, J & Jones, RE 2016 The settlement of Crossiecrown: the Grey and the Red Houses. In Jones, R and Richards, C (eds) The Development of Neolithic House Societies in Orkney. Oxbow

Batt CM, Outram Z, Harris SE and Card N Forthcoming Telling the time in the Neolithic: Developing archaeomagnetic dating in Britain. Archaeometry/JAS

Card, N, Downes, J, Gibson, C and Sharman, P (eds) Forthcoming Mine Howe, Orkney: an Iron Age complex

Card, N, Downes, J, and Edmonds, M (eds) Forthcoming Landscapes Revealed: Remote sensing around the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site. Oxford: Windgather/Oxbow Press

Jones, R, Towers, R and Card, N forthcoming Analysis of decorated Grooved Ware sherds from Ness of Brodgar, Orkney, JAS

Card, N, Mainland, I, Timpany, S, Towers, R, Batt, C, Bronk Ramsey, C, Dunbar, E, Reimer, P, Marshall, P and Whittle, A Forthcoming Formal chronological modelling for the Late Neolithic site of Ness of Brodgar, Orkney, EJA

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