Director of the Ness of Brodgar and LEADER Development Project
Nick has worked widely throughout Britain since graduating from Glasgow University with an MA Honours Archaeology. Over the last decade he has directed and managed a wide range of both research and commercial projects for the Orkney Archaeological Trust and latterly for the Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology of the University of Highlands and Islands (ORCA). He also contributes to various teaching modules within the Archaeology Department of the University of the Highlands and Islands and has assisted with the establishment of an Archaeology Institute within the University of the Highlands and Islands.
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.
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. In 2009 the Ness was recognised by the American Institute of Archaeology; in 2011 it won the Current Archaeology Research Project of the Year; and in 2012 was awarded the international Andante Travel Archaeology Award, having been runner up in 2008.
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. Recently he was awarded the Samuel Kress lectureship for 2016-17 by the Archaeological Institute of America.
The prehistory of the Highlands and Islands with particular reference to the Neolithic.
- Director of the Ness of
- Post-excavation on the
External Responsibilities and Memberships
- Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists
- Fellow of the Society of Antiquarians of Scotland
- Honorary Research Fellow University of Highlands and Islands
- Chair of Ness Brodgar Trust
- Vice President of American Friends of Ness of Brodgar
- Member of Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site Research Committee
Select Recent Publications
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
Towers, R, Card, N and Edmonds, M 2015 The Ness of Brodgar, Kirkwall.
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, 348, proj gall
2015 Mainland, I, Towers J, Ewens, V, Davis, G, Montgomery, J, Batey, C and Card, N
Toiling with teeth: an integrated dental analysis of sheep and cattle dentition in Iron Age and Viking-Late Norse Orkney, JAS, doi:10.1016/j.jasrep.2015.12.002
Card, N, Downes, J, Richards, C, Jones, RE, Challands, A, French, C and Thomas, A 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
Card, N, Mainland, I, Timpany, S, Towers, R, Batt, C, Bronk Ramsey, C, Dunbar, E, Reimer, P, Marshall, P and Whittle, A 2017 To cut a long story short: formal chronological modelling for the Late Neolithic site of Ness of Brodgar, Orkney. European Journal of Archaeology: 1–47. https://doi.org/10.1017/eaa.2016.29.
Towers, R, Card, N and Edmonds, M 2017 The Ness of Brodgar: Digging Deeper (2nd Edition), Kirkwall
Card, N 2018 The Ness of Brodgar Uncovering Orkney’s Neolithic heart, Current Archaeology 335
Mainland, I, Harland, J, Card, N, & Downes, J 2018 Feast or Famine? Faunal assemblages from Orkney, Archaeology Scotland, 32, 10-13.
Card, N 2018 A Place of Celebration and Pilgrimage, British Archaeology, Sept-Oct, 44-47.
Harris, S, Batt, C and Card, N 2018 Developing Archaeomagnetic Dating for the Scottish Neolithic, Archaeology Scotland 2018
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 McKenzie, J (eds) Forthcoming Mine Howe
Brend, A. 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.
P. Bueno-Ramírez, R. de Balbín-Behrmann, R. Barroso-Bermejo, L. Laporte, Ph. Gouezin, F. Cousseau, L. Salanova, G. Benetau, N. Card, A. Thomas, E. Mens, A. Sheridan, F. Carrera-Ramírez, A. Hernanz, M. Iriarte, K. Steelman From pigment to symbol: the role of paintings in the ideological construction of European megaliths.
Allington, M. L, Batt, C, Hill, M and Card, N forthcoming Developing Archaeomagnetic Dating by Intensity in the UK: a Case Study from Neolithic Orkney, JAS
Ackerman, N and Card, N forthcoming Neolithic roofing at the Ness of Brodgar
Recent Conference Papers
2010 Kattenberg, A, Ovenden, S, Downes, J, and Card, N 2010 Gaining time depth – using geophysics to investigate changing land use in the Orkney Inner Buffer Zone. 1st Landscape Archaeology Conference: LAC2010
2010 The Ness of Brodgar. Paper delivered at Neolithic Orkney Symposium, Kirkwall.
2010 Crossiecrown, a late Neolithic Settlement. Paper delivered at Neolithic Orkney Symposium, Kirkwall.
2010 Card, N and Thomas, A 2010 New insights into Neolithic ‘Art’ from Orkney – Neolithic Studies Group Conference, British Museum, London.
2011 Changing perceptions – recent research and excavation in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site. Paper delivered at Oxford Conference, The Neolithic of Britain and Ireland
2012 The True Heart of Neolithic Orkney. Archaeological Research in Progress Conference in Edinburgh.
2012 The Ness of Brodgar – a case study. Paper delivered at Sustainability and Heritage Conference in Orkney
2013 The Changing Face of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney. Beyond Ritual: Monuments, Housing in the Late Neolithic of northwest Europe Conference, Aberdeen University
2015 Ness of Brodgar – what the past can do for our future. RETI Conference in Orkney
2015 From pigment to symbol: the role of paintings in the ideological construction of European megaliths. P. Bueno-Ramírez, R. de Balbín-Behrmann, R. Barroso-Bermejo, L. Laporte, Ph. Gouezin, F. Cousseau, L. Salanova, G. Benetau, N. Card, A. Thomas, E. Mens, A. Sheridan, F. Carrera-Ramírez, A. Hernanz, M. Iriarte, K. Steelman. Kiel Congress
2016 Archaeomagnetic Studies in the Scottish Neolithic: evaluating the potential of the Ness of Brodgar, Mainland Orkney, UK Harris SE, Batt CM Biggin A and Card N. Magnetic Interactions, conference at Imperial College London
2016 Developing Archaeomagnetic Dating in the Scottish Neolithic: Interpreting geomagnetic variation at the Ness of Brodgar, Scotland - Harris, S, Batt, C, Outram, Z and Card, N - 41st International Symposium on Archaeometry, Kalamata, May 2016
2016 Telling the time in the Neolithic: Developing archaeomagnetic dating in Britain Batt, C, Outram, Z Sam Harris and Nick Card - 41st International Symposium on Archaeometry, Kalamata, May 2016
2016 Building in the detail: micro-stratigraphic approaches to understanding Neolithic structures at the Ness of Brodgar, Orkney, Scotland - McKenzie, J and Card, N – EAA Conference Vilnius – Sept 2016
2016 - Ness of Brodgar – what the past can do for our future. World Archaeology Congress in Kyoto in Sept 2016
2017 Developing Archaeomagnetic Dating in the Scottish Neolithic: Geomagnetic variation in Orkney, Scotland, Harris SE, Batt CM, Armit I, and Card N, UKAS conference 5th - 8th April University College of London
2017 Assessing Portable XRF Data Analyses Within A Neolithic Context: Comparing Semi-Quantitative And Quantitative XRFSpectral Data Analysis Of Yellow-Clay Floor Samples From Structure 14, Ness Of Brodgar, Scotland, Pike, S, Card, N and Andeson Whymark, H Geological Society of America Annual Meeting In Seattle, Washington, USA – October 2017
2018 Archaeomagnetic studies in the Scottish Neolithic: understanding geomagnetic field variations for dating Harris SE, Batt CM, Armit I and Card N. 42nd International Symposium on Archaeometry (ISA2018) in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, May 20-26, 2018.
2018 Connected Communities: Neolithic monuments and landscape in Orkney and beyond Dr Jane Downes, Nick Card, Dr Stephen Dockrill, Dr Julie Bond, Prof. Eszter Banffy, Dr Knut Rassmann, Dr Ingrid Mainland, Julie Gibson, Dan Lee, EAA Barcelona
2019 The Neolithic of Orkney: recent research. Jomon Transitions in Comparative Context: complexity, materiality, ritual and demography among prehistoric complex foragers in Japan and Europe 11th-12th January 2019, The Neolithic of Orkney: recent research The Neolithic of Orkney: recent research Cambridge
2019 The Ness of Brodgar – what the past can do for our future. : Protection, Management, and Utilisation of Cultural Heritage Resources, in Xi’an, China, Royal Society of Edinburgh and Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) Joint Research Workshop, March 2019.
Lectures by Invitation
2014 Orkney Archaeology Society
2014 University of Sydney, Australia
2014 Australian Museum, Sydney
2014 Sorbonne, Paris
2014 Royal Philosophical Society, Glasgow
2015 Inverness Field Club
2015 Orkney Archaeology Society
2015 George Bush Library, College Station, Texas
2015 AIA San Antonio Texas
2015 AIA Austin Texas
2015 Houston Museum Texas
2016 Orkney Archaeology Society
2017 Archaeological Institute of America’s Samuel Kress Lectureship at circa 13 venues across the US plus 6 addition lectures arranged by the American Friends of the Ness of Brodgar and others
2017 Orkney Archaeology Society
2017 Edinburgh Symposium – Scotland History and Identity. 3-5 Nov
2017 Cornwall Archaeological Society – the Corfield Nankivell lecture on 7 December
2018 Chester Archaeological Society - the Annual Newstead Lecture
2018 Devon Archaeology Society - Exeter
2018 Orkney Archaeology Society
2019 Manchester Philosophical Society
Posters at the Geological Society of America’s Annual Meeting In Seattle, Washington, USA – October 2017
A Loch’s Lithology: A Preliminary Study Of The Stone Resources From Loch Of Stenness And Their Relationship To The Ness Of Brodgar And Other Sites Within The Unesco’s Heart Of Neolithic World Heritage – Sarah Crabb, Scott Pike, Nick Card, Richard Bates And Caroline Wickham Jones
Follow The Yellow Clay Floors: A Reconstruction Of The Neolithic Floors At The Ness Of Brodgar - Lara Shinsato, Scott Pike And Nick Card
Tel: 01856 569342