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Swandro Dig Diary: Racing Against Time and Tide

By Team Swandro, Aug 19 2017 05:42PM

Since we’re not digging at the moment I thought this might be a good time to catch you all up on some of the background to the dig, so that when we come back (hopefully – subject to funding) next July you’ll all be up to speed and ready to dive right in to the regular dig diary.

If we were still on site we wouldn’t be digging today anyway as it’s a Saturday, so if it helps you can pretend we’re still digging but this is our day off – puts me in mind of seeing a Motörhead gig many years ago when they’d just had The Bomber stolen - the inimitable Lemmy announced that even if the Bomber hadn’t been stolen they wouldn’t have been able to get it in as the hall as was too small, so we should just imagine that it was parked up on the lorry outside:

You may need to work with me on this one!

Anyway back to the archaeology – as regular readers will know one of the most threatened parts of the site is our Neolithic chambered tomb

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 11 2017 08:31PM

Another great day here in Rousay, hot and sunny yet again, we’re getting spoilt by the weather. I mean look at this picture taken looking out across the site over Eynhallow Sound, with Costa Head in the West Mainland in the background:

you’d think we were somewhere tropical, not 59 degrees North, on the same latitude as St Petersburg and Labrador! That's the entrance passageway to the chambered tomb in the foreground.The arrival of Jackie McKinley (another old Orkney hand taking her holiday to be with us, an osteoarchaeologist by trade) saw the exposure of the top collapse of rubble into the chambered cairn and area in front of the cairn.

We’ve also had our archaeometallurgist Dr Gerry McDonnell on site today:

By Team Swandro, Jul 10 2017 08:31PM

A sad day today as we have to say goodbye to Bonnie who has to go back south. She’s worked at Swandro for the last four years and she’s off back to the University of Bradford for her graduation ceremony, to collect her 1st class honours degree. We wish her all the best for the future out in the big wide world

The rest of the team have been hard at it again on another gloriously hot day, one of the Iron Age buildings is starting to look its best..

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