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Swandro Dig Diary


By Team Swandro, Nov 22 2017 04:58PM

The observant amongst you may have noticed that our website now has a shop, selling a print of our Pictish Smithy, produced from an original reconstruction drawing by our very own multi-talented Alan Braby, a professional archaeological illustrator – if you’ve read any book on Scottish archaeology in the last 30 years you can pretty much guarantee that you’re seen some of his illustrations.

Alan started with a pencil drawing based on the excavated archaeological evidence, which went to they-who-must-be-obeyed aka site directors Steve & Julie for their comments, here's the first draft:

This first drawing then went back to Alan along with some further input from Dr Gerry McDonnell (our archaeometallurgist), and Alan duly sharpened his pencils and got to work again, resulting in an altered version heading off for comment:

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 14 2017 07:12PM

Appropriately enough, since this is the 14th of July, la Fête Nationale française, we bring you news of a French find at Swandro....a tuyère! OK, only the word is French, imported into the English language along with the technology of blast furnaces in the early 16th century - it’s the nozzle that air enters the blast furnace through, in our case from a bellows.Anyway our tuyère’s got our archaeo-metallurgist Gerry very excited – here he is demonstrating how the tuyère fits into the bellows with our finds co-ordinator Rose:

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