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Swandro Dig Diary: Racing Against Time and Tide

By Team Swandro, Jul 27 2017 07:43PM

Everything’s drawing to a close here now, the final recording of the chambered tomb was done before it was covered over to protect it (hopefully) through the winter. There’s something very strange going on around the tomb entrance passage – the photo below is taken looking straight down the main entrance passageway, the lintels covering it are missing so you’re looking at the exposed side walls:

Now the next photo is taken at right angles looking up from the beach, with the tomb entrance at the top left of the pic;

By Team Swandro, Jul 26 2017 07:04PM

We’re getting towards the end of the dig now and it’s all hands on deck for final recording, drawing, photographing and checking all is well before we leave site for the year - we really really hope these buildings will still be here next year and survive another winter's gales. All our beautiful buildings have been cleaned up to within an inch of their lives so that they’ll be ready for their close ups - if the sea destroys them over the winter at least we'll have something to remember them by. This is only the tip of the iceberg - there's a huge amount of site inland of the building - you can see stones on the right sticking out of the trench edge, that's a continuation and the sea is just nipping away at it more and more.

Here’s the Pictish Smithy in all its glory, taken looking towards the entrance - the red and white poles are photographic scales & they’re 1 metre long:

The metal working debris inside the smithy has got Gerry our metals expert really excited

By Team Swandro, Jul 25 2017 07:18PM

Firstly apologies for the absence of a dig diary yesterday: we had lots of Open Day pictures ready to go but we had no internet connection. This is a bit of an occupational hazard here – Orkney has the dubious distinction of being top of the list of places in Scotland with the slowest internet connection (Shetland came second), and when you’re a long way from the telephone exchange like we are, the problems can be worse. We’ve got a very patchy connection tonight so I’m writing this fast before it goes down again.

We had a great Open Day and thank you so much to everyone who came out to visit us –the 10.45am boat from Tingwall on Sunday was full, and most of them were coming over to visit us and a lot of folk from Rousay too – we had about 180 folk down to see us.

It was a great day for it too, dry & warm and the site looked great

By Team Swandro, Jul 23 2017 08:26PM

Brilliant sunny day for our Open Day and the crowds flocked to see us - we hope everyone who came enjoyed it, we were glad to see so many people turn out.

If you didn't make it over here's a couple of videos of site director Julie Bond giving you a virtual guided tour:

That's part1 keep going, there's more!

By Team Swandro, Jul 22 2017 07:26PM

Another day of glorious sunshine and tropical heat here in Rousay, hope the weather stays as good for our Open Day tomorrow. We’ve been working today to coincide with the Open Days at the Skaill Dig, but it’s not all been hard work.

It’s very important for all the students and volunteers to know what’s going on with the site - it’s very easy on any dig to get stuck with your head down a hole somewhere & have no idea what’s happening in the rest of the site. Steve & Julie (our esteemed & glorious leaders) always make a point of organising regular site tours: here’s supervisor Bobby Friel explaining s the complexity of structure 2 the Iron Age building with the Stone lined tank (otherwise known as the Peedie Roundhouse):

You can see how keen those students are...

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