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Swandro Dig Diary: Racing Against Time and Tide


Please click here for the contents list and links to all our dig diary entries

By Team Swandro, Jul 28 2017 03:16PM

Well, this is our last day on site finishing off all the backfilling and generally tidying up, taking our tea tent down and suchlike. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this diary throughout the dig, and thank you to all who’ve supported us by making donations.

I’ve been looking through all the post shares and likes that we’ve had to see which were our most popular diary entries over the course of the dig – wonder if you can guess which ones were hits? Was it the Roman Coin? Or maybe the Pictish Smithy and the incredibly interesting hammerscale & globs of molten metal? Or the beautiful tomb passageway? Or any of the other very serious and worthy entries with lots of lovely archaeology?

Well, if you thought that you’d be dead wrong - the diary entries that were the biggest hits had one thing in common: any mention of the Vikings accompanied by pictures of semi-naked hunks with big axes with/without blood. I don’t know what exactly this says about our readership, but I believe in giving the public what they want:

OK now everyone’s happy, we’ll proceed to the archaeology

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 15 2017 06:59PM

Being a Saturday the diggers have got yet another day off – they get TWO days off a week! Ridiculous if you ask me – back in the day when we were digging for Steve out in Sanday we got one day off a week & were glad of it.

We’re going to start today’s diary with an apology: yesterday I inferred that Vikings were a bunch of bloodthirsty pirates who would happily chop our Pictish folk into bloody collops. In the interests of academic impartiality I would like to point out that there are those who believe that the arrival of the Vikings was an entirely peaceful transition from one administrative regime to another, and that the Vikings have been sorely misrepresented; I leave it to you to make a decision:

Anyway after our little hunk-a-thon, back to the archaeology..

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