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Chamber and committees

Orkney Success at the Current Archaeology Awards

  • Submitted by: Liam McArthur, Orkney Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats.
  • Date lodged: Friday, 01 March 2024
  • Motion reference: S6M-12361

That the Parliament congratulates all the archaeologists involved at the Ness of Brodgar, which has been awarded Research Project of the Year for a second time at the Current Archaeology Live! Conference 2024; understands that the Ness of Brodgar site is a complex of Neolithic structures on the Orkney Mainland, described as "without parallel in Atlantic Europe"; considers that the excavation of this 5,000-year-old site, which has been ongoing since 2004, has proceeded according to the careful application of long-term principles; commends the meticulous work that has been done over two decades to excavate the site and increase knowledge and understanding of Neolithic Europe; notes that among the finds at the site are over 1,000 decorated stone artefacts and evidence of elaborate adornments like coloured walls and tiling, which, together with the scale of the complex, creates a picture of an elaborate and vibrant culture in Neolithic Orkney; congratulates Nick Card, the Project Director at the Ness, who was awarded Archaeologist of the Year; understands that Nick’s geophysical surveys were what detected the Ness complex, an achievement he has called "the highlight of my career", and that his leadership has guided the excavation of the site since 2004; recognises that the Ness is part of the "Heart of Neolithic Orkney", which is one of Scotland’s six UNESCO World Heritage sites; congratulates the archaeologists involved in the Knowe of Swandro site, in Rousay, whose receipt of Rescue Project of the Year made the Current Archaeology Awards a triple Orkney success; notes that the Knowe of Swandro, also an important Neolithic site with additional Iron Age, Pictish, and Viking buildings, sits partly below a high tide marker and is being rapidly eroded; considers that the work that has been done in this "race against time and tide" to recover the heritage of the site makes the Knowe of Swandro team worthy of the award; believes that Orkney’s archaeological heritage is incredibly valuable, and thanks all of those, including a large number of volunteers, who work to preserve it.

Supported by: Karen Adam, Clare Adamson, Jeremy Balfour, Colin Beattie, Miles Briggs, Ariane Burgess, Alexander Burnett, Maggie Chapman, Sharon Dowey, Annabelle Ewing, Pam Gosal, Bill Kidd, Douglas Lumsden, Stuart McMillan, Douglas Ross, Kevin Stewart, Paul Sweeney, David Torrance, Martin Whitfield