Professor Mary Beard to Open Ness of Brodgar Exhibition

copyright Caterina Turroni and Lion TV

Professor Mary Beard To Open Ness Of Brodgar Exhibition

This summer’s flagship Ness of Brodgar exhibition at the Orkney Museum will be officially opened by Professor Mary Beard next month.

Mary is an Emerita Professor and Fellow of Newnham College, Cambridge, and the classics editor of the TLS, with worldwide academic acclaim.

Her previous books include the bestselling, Wolfson Prize-winning Pompeii, SPQR, and Women & Power. She has made numerous TV series and her books have been published in over thirty languages.

The official opening will take place on May 9.

Running from May 4 until September 30, the Ness of Brodgar exhibition – Ness of Brodgar: Past, Present and Future – looks back at two decades of excavation and ahead to the project’s next phase which is the analysis, interpretation, and publication of all the material found.

Running over multiple galleries, the exhibition is the largest hosted by the museum to date and will feature hundreds of finds from the Ness never before displayed in public.

The exhibition has been timed to celebrate and coincide with the final season of excavation, at the Ness of Brodgar site.

Accompanying the exhibition will be a new book, which reviews the work at the Ness over the past twenty years, at the same time looking forward to the project’s post-excavation phase. It highlights key discoveries, identifies crucial questions, and singles out a few of our favourite finds, illustrated with many new photographs.

The Ness of Brodgar excavation which has been ongoing since 2004, has revealed a massive complex of monumental Neolithic buildings from the centuries around 3000BC.

Without parallel in Atlantic Europe, the site’s three hectares are filled with huge stone structures and equally spectacular finds.

These have made the Ness one of the most important archaeological excavations in the world today, changing our understanding of the culture and beliefs of Neolithic Orkney and shining a new light on the prehistory of northern Europe.

Councillor Graham Bevan is Convener of Orkney Islands Council. He said: “The incredible Ness of Brodgar dig has been a fixture of Orkney’s summer for twenty years now, attracting visitors and archaeologists from all over the world. To have someone of Professor Beard’s standing within her field to open the Orkney Museum exhibition is a huge honour and I look forward to welcoming her to Orkney.

As part of her visit, Professor Beard will also be carrying out book signings of her own works at Stromness museum on the evening of 8 May and Orkney Museum on the afternoon of 9 May.

The book signing in Stromness Museum will take place 6:00pm –7:00pm on Wednesday 8 May.

The book signing at Orkney Museum will be from 1:00pm to 2:00 pm on Thursday 9 May.

Professor Beard, commenting in advance of her visit, said: “I am really looking forward to coming back to Orkney and it is a huge honour to be opening the Ness of Brodgar exhibition. I fell in love with Orkney on my first, all too brief, visit. Then I spent most of my time at the amazing Scapa Flow Museum. I am looking forward to going back there – but also to discovering my inner prehistorian. What better place than Orkney?”

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