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Following on with the story of the big pot. Here is a piece now dry enough to be turned over, revealing its decoration.

It was removed from the big slab of pot (from the top right hand corner of the drawing) which continues to dry out and can be seen separating from the midden below.

This afternoon, I painted my final oil painting (to allow for drying sufficiently to be taken home in 10 days). It is a view of Trench J from the spoil heap and painted with some difficulty in a high wind. So I am extremely tired and very glad of a weekend off.

Back on Monday


After the excavation of the big pot comes the paperwork in meticulous detail.

Just one drawing as the day was mostly was spent sourcing technology for my film show next week. Later on with the return of Orkney winds, I made several sound recordings and videos of wind and water.

Tomorrow is the last day for oil painting – to give time for drying before travelling home in 10 days time.


This morning there was a gentle breeze, pale sunshine, and big black clouds on the horizon – standard Orkney weather except the wind is usually much stronger.

After a personal tour of Structure 10, I drew some of the diggers, a hole where an orthostat had been robbed in the Neolithic, and a distant archaeological conversation.

This afternoon the light changed with constant light cloud – so a second small oil painting was completed.

There is an interesting hole in one corner of Structure 10, where they are planning further excavation – one to watch…


There are two sides to my work, practice and reflection. Here at the Ness of Brodgar there is much to draw, paint, and many sounds to record. But I also feel a need to keep a handle on the thinking that underpins the practical stuff. So because my time here is limited there is something of a conflict between getting as much material as possible to take away and knowing what to concentrate on. Perhaps the best strategy while I am on site is to metaphorically put one foot in front of the other – i.e. make the work and see where it leads. Let reflection happen as and when it will.

So today, while recording the call of the resident Oyster Catcher, I drew the new extension being created in Trench J

I was also witness to the discovery of a small axe and the lifting of a very large quernstone.

For more details about these, go to the Ness of Brodgar Dig Diary