The American Friends of the Ness of Brodgar, Inc. (AFNOB), is a tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) U.S. charity established to foster public awareness of and provide financial support for the on-going archaeological work at the Ness of Brodgar, Orkney. As Scotland’s premier Neolithic site, the excavation and post excavation work at the ‘Ness’ is primarily funded through private donations of individuals and groups.
The Orkney Islands are an archipelago 12 miles off the north tip of Scotland. Already known for their archaeology, this ‘new’ site was discovered in a field on the Brodgar farm in 2003. Located on private land, the excavation is planned and paced by archaeological considerations not by any external factors. Both the size and the concentration of the structures being uncovered on this previously undisturbed site have no parallel in Northern Europe. The significance of the site and its structures to our understanding of the Neolithic cannot be overstated.
At the present time, the length of excavation season is not controlled by the Orcadian weather, personnel limitations, site access or any other physical constraint; it is a function of available funding. Relying on a cadre of international volunteers with a wide range of archaeological expertise and experience, the six acre site has been excavated each summer since 2007. In 2013, several of the American volunteers identified the need to organize a charity to encourage donations from our many American visitors and permit their generosity to be tax deductible in the U.S. The American Friends of the Ness of Brodgar, Inc. is the result of their efforts.
With a population of fewer than 25,000, Orkney’s citizens are not able to fund the excavation. And though generous, the donations from our 12,000 site visitors do not cover the annual excavation costs. At the present time, the cost of funding a six week excavation season is approximately $120,000.00. That total amount comes to: $20,000/week; $4,000/day; $500/hour. The annual cost of excavation includes: stipends for structure supervisors; insurance for the excavators and visitors to the site; permits for site use; and the purchase of materials used during the excavation - finds trays and bags, recording pens, acid free paper and storage boxes.
Over the past four excavation seasons, contributions made to AFNOB have permitted us to contribute a significant amount annually toward the cost of excavation. Several very generous gifts have also enabled us to provide funding to extend the 2015 and 2016 excavation seasons from six weeks to eight weeks. With the most generous contribution of expertise, effort and time donated by several of our multitalented archaeologists, a NOB guide book was written in 2015. Again thanks to the generosity of our donors, AFNOB was able to the funds for the publication of the guidebook. The guidebook has been a great hit at the site’s shop and is also sold year-round in Orkney shops and on line. At present, a second edition of the guide is being prepared and AFNOB will again fund the publication. All proceeds from the sale of the guide go directly back to the work at the Ness.
The 2017 excavation season begins 3 July 2017. The Orkneyjar website will have a daily ‘Dig Diary’ reporting excavation highlights and introducing members of the team. Until you can visit us in person, we hope you can follow us on the internet. We also hope you will support our efforts by making a tax deductible contribution to AFNOB via PayPal (please save your PayPal receipt for your tax records) or by mailing a contribution to us:
American Friends of the Ness of Brodgar, Inc.
4876-118 Princess Anne Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23462-4499
You may also buy our guidebook online
The Ness is also greatly supported by volunteers who dig and do all sorts of post excavation work. We would not function as we do without you all.
Orkney Archaeology Society hosts the Ness annual talk in Orkney and the dig shop during the excavation season, plus much else.
Orkneyjar is the host of our Dig Diary, an exciting day by day account of excavation progress from season 2007 right to the end of 2016. Wonderful images too.
The Ness of Brodgar Trust supports all the work of the Ness, to keep excavation and all the related research and post excavation work, going. The Trust is a Registered Scottish Charity, no SC044890.