Join me, The Muddy Archaeologist, and explore Neolithic Orkney in this stunning new course.

Share the passion and knowledge and delve into life 5,000 years ago.
Find out all about the archaeology of these unique islands & let me bring them to life.
You'll never look at prehistory same way again!.

This course is sumptuously illustrated with truly beautiful images that capture the atmosphere and essence of these remarkable sites and remains.

Whether you are a professor or a Time Team fan, a student or a complete novice, an archaeologist or studying for general interest ...

Whether you spend much of your life on Orkney or have never (yet) visited these islands where 'if you scratch the surface, it bleeds archaeology' ...

If you want to transform your view of our ancient past ...

Then this course is for YOU!

What will you learn?

-   Explore the Neolithic Age and the revolutionary effect it had on our human lives

-  Discover the types of sites and features that litter the Orkney islands

-  What to look for at such sites.

-  How to appreciate Neolithic art and artefacts

-  Enjoy a sense of place and time as we capture the essence and atmosphere of Orkney and its sites

You'll be seeing the ancient world in a whole new, fresh way.

Great Value!     What will you get?

-   6 video sumptuously illustrated sessions taking you through the Dawn of the Neolithic Age, At Home in the Neolithic, the magnificent tombs and Neolithic Way of Death, Ritual Landscapes (the very heart of the Neolithic life), art and artefacts (self expression and identity in the Neolithic) plus Beyond the Neolithic into the prehistoric Bronze and Iron Ages in Orkney.    What a package!

-   Plus start up session with helpful guides such as a glossary, and an extra closing Next Steps lesson

-  Downloadable maps and useful handouts

-  Bonus 'Best of the Rest' notes throughout, so that you can find and visit the Neolithic world throughout Britain.

-  A LIVE Q&A online session (scheduled at one time, one date each month) with The Muddy Archaeologist with chat box to ask your questions and respond and be part of the Muddy Archaeologist online community.

-  Absolutely no exams or tests except for short lightweight quizzes.  This course is for fun, discovery, learning and exploration for us to share together.

-  A selection of options for payment: one-off payments, monthly installments, an option to sign up for a 'drip-feed' weekly to your in-box course instead of all 'up front' to access, start and end at any time or date to suit you.

-  Group rates will be available.

- No quibble 30-day Money Back Guarantee

Pricing options

To help you get the most out of this course in the way that you want it, I'm offering a selection of pricing options.
Group prices will be available

Course curriculum

Join 'The Muddy Archaeologist' on a journey
back 5,000 years to the Neolithic age of the Orkney islands

Archaeology - Great Sites - Unique islands - First Farmers & Settlers

What's included?
Video sessions - Downloadable maps and notes - Resource Lists - Live Q&A session with 'The Muddy Archaeologist' - Quizzes - Completion certificate

  • 2

    The Dawn of the Neolithic Age

  • 3

    At Home in the Neolithic

    • Lecture: At Home in the Neolithic (60 mins)

    • Downloadable Notes: At Home in the Neolithic Handout

    • Downloadable Map of Neolithic settlements mentioned in this course

    • Test and Consolidate what you've discovered in At Home in the Neolithic

    • Downloadable Resource: The Best of the Rest of Neolithic Settlements

    • List of Illustrations : At Home in the Neolithic

  • 4

    A 5,000 year-old Way of Life and Death

    • Lecture: A 5,000 year-old Way of Life and Death : Neolithic Tombs (50 mins)

    • Downloadable notes: A 5,000 year-old Way of Life and Death: Neolithic Tombs

    • Downloadable Map of Orkney Tombs

    • HALF TIME - Just a Bit of Fun : What type of Neolithic tomb are YOU?
      Choose any of these and see which characteristics you feel most at home with!

    • Downloable Resource: Best of the Rest : Neolithic Tombs around Britain

    • Test and Consolidate what you've discovered in Neolithic Tombs

    • List of Illustrations : A 5,000-Year-Old Way of Life and Death

    • PLEASE NOTE: The Tomb of the Eagles is sadly now closed.

  • 5

    Ritual Landscapes : the Heart of the Neolithic

    • Lecture: Ritual Landscapes - the Heart of the Neolithic

    • Downloadable Notes: Neolithic Ritual Landscapes

    • Downloadable Map of the Ritual Landscape 'The Heart of the Neolithic' on Orkney

    • Test and Consolidate what you've discovered in Ritual Landscapes

    • Downloadable Resource: The Best of the Rest of Ritual Landscapes

    • List of Illustrations : Ritual Landscapes

  • 6

    Art and Artefacts : Self Expression in Neolithic Orkney

    • Lecture : Art & Artefacts: Self Expression in the Neolithic (35 mins)

    • Downloadble Notes: Art & Artefacts in Neolithic Orkney

    • Test and consolidate what you've discovered : Art & Artefacts

    • Downloadable Resource: The Best of the Rest : Neolithic Art & Artefacts

    • List of Illustrations : Art and Artefacts in Neolithic Orkney

  • 7

    Beyond the Neolithic : Bronze Age & Iron Age and Onwards

    • Lecture: Beyond the Neolithic : Bronze Age & Iron Age and Onwards

    • Downloadable Notes for Beyond the Neolithic

    • Downloadable Map of 'Beyond the Neolithic: Some main sites'

    • Test and Consolidate what you've learned in Beyond the Neolithic in Orkney

    • Downloadable 'Best of the Rest' : Beyond the Neolithic

    • List of Illustrations : Beyond the Neolithic

  • 8

    Next steps

    • Congratulations! Here's what's next...

    • Downloadable Neolithic Orkney Further reading list

    • Before you go... please answer this survey so that we can improve this and future courses for you to enjoy. And as a thank you, at the end, there's a special discount on your next course.

    • Where / When do you want to explore next?

    • Please write a Review!

    • Thank you Video - and See you Soon

    • About Gillian Hovell, 'The Muddy Archaeologist' (in case you missed it on the course information page)

This is your chance to experience the sites of Orkney, guided by an expert, an archaeologist who loves
the archaeology and adores sharing it with you!

Don't just take my word for it!

Read what others think of 'The Muddy Archaeologist'

Gillian’s course opens up the Neolithic world on Orkney.

Neolithic Orkney online student

“Gillian’s course opens up the Neolithic world on Orkney. The course is fascinating and provides many interesting perspectives on Neolithic life. Gillian is an excellent tutor/guide, her passion for archaeology is definitely catching and she relates the subject to the participant on a real human level. The course has certainly inspired me to want to visit Orkney in the future and also continue with further online archaeologist courses.”

I was transported to this far off time and place, where the cultures, architecture and ways of these early inhabitants came vividly to life.

Neolithic Orkney online student

'I thoroughly enjoyed exploring 'Neolithic Orkney' with Gillian's expertise. The early story of these northern islands as related in her lectures was packed full of fascinating history and told in such an engaging way that I was transported to this far off time and place, where the cultures, architecture and ways of these early inhabitants came vividly to life.The extra notes and maps were a real bonus too. A great course!'

Really enjoying this course

Neolithic Orkney online student

I am really enjoying this course. Gillian has brought to life what it must have been to live in the Neolithic and every now and then includes a thought provoking comment or question which invites a deeper consideration of what the archaeological evidence might suggest. The lectures are clear and accompanied by excellent photographs and the accompanying notes include all the important points. Her enthusiasm for the subject shines through. I would love to go on an archaeological tour of Orkney with her to see the monuments covered in this course and experience the mystery and atmosphere of the landscape. The only criticism of this course is that it is too short.!

Gillian brings learning to life

Course student

Gillian brings learning to life in a way that inspires future interest

Exactly as expected. Good to have more in depth information


Excellent descriptions and good to have handouts to save. Rated 5 out of 5.

Very interesting

Neolithic Orkney online student

Very interesting. It was good the way Gillian referred back to things so we gradually built up a picture of Neolithic Orkney. I also enjoyed going on through the ages.

5 stars


The course definitely covered all that the title implied in a very comprehensive way. Really good balance of lectures with maps, pictures and downloadable notes. The revision quizzes were helpful in consolidation. looking forward to another one at a later stage.

Gradually built up a picture of Neolithic Orkney. 5 stars


Very interesting. It was good the way Gillian referred back to things so we gradually built up a picture of Neolithic Orkney. I also enjoyed going on through the ages.

A great course. 5 stars


Enjoyed this course immensely.

So interesting!


I have thoroughly enjoyed this course - wonderful tutor, excellent presentation and it has given me a much better understanding of this period. Can't wait to travel to Orkney!

Gillian Hovell BA(Hons) 'The Muddy Archaeologist'

Hi, I'm Gillian Hovell, known professionally as 'The Muddy Archaeologist'.
Welcome to this invitation to join my thrilling Neolithic Orkney course.

If you're looking to find out more about the astonishing sites and finds from the 5,000 year old Neolithic in Orkney then you're in the right place!
For I present lively, passionate and engaging ancient history and archaeology that connects with our lives today and which bring the past vividly to life.

My life is spent lecturing nationally and internationally, and on tours and cruises of ancient sites from Orkney's Neolithic to the diverse cultures of the Ancient Mediterranean - some of you will know me from our travels in the UK and throughout the Mediterranean. I lead groups for the Smithsonian Journeys, Australians Studying Abroad (ASA) and many other UK and international companies.
And I love it. My joy is to transform your experience of destinations into ones that are not 'just a load of old stones'; I help you to connect with the civilization, discover and share our common humanity with it and enjoy and appreciate the diversity, individuality and richness of each and every culture. AncFor I am passionate about revealing how archaeological sites and history are full of human life and passion. I love sharing the joy of ancient history in person, in books and articles, on the media and on line. I'm a prize-winning author and one of my books, Visiting the Past: Finding and Understanding Britain's Archaeology, shares with you how to explore the archaeology of the British Isles from prehistory up to the medieval age and even beyond.

After graduating in Latin and Ancient History from Exeter University, I worked in BBC Television and went on to become an award-winning freelance writer, author.
I have led a community archaeology project in Yorkshire and I have excavated at major sites in the UK and Europe - including Orkney's remarkable Ness of Brodgar site.

I now lecture at York University and speak at the British Museum. I share courses around the country and lecture throughout the UK and abroad for audiences that range from local societies and luncheon clubs to Classical Associations, The Arts Society, and international groups. Every event is tailored to YOU, whoever and wherever you are.
I offer you expertise, passion and a warm welcome.
Archaeology is for everyone: let me lead you on a journey into the past with knowledge, great images, and a sense of fun and enjoyment.

Adding colour and depth to our lives today by digging deep into the past.

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