Bananas and blustery weather

The day started out wet and a bit breezy, with a northwesterly whistling down Eynhallow Sound, so we did our weekly site tour for all the diggers first and hoped it would get better. In typical Orkney fashion we then had alternating dryish spells coupled with torrential downpours, not very helpful when you're trying to get the site spruced up for a laser scan to see how much has changed over the last year. Most of the team were cleaning up the site, but our first real excavation of the season came from Klaudia and Julie, who were tidying up a section in an area where we're going to extend the trench. That's the chambered tomb wall behind them, and they're working on the Iron Age deposits against the tomb wall:

Even though the weather was poor and getting steadily worse we had a stream of visitors today, although by the end we were getting them to sign the visitor book in pencil as it was too wet to get the pens to write. Pity they don't make visitor books in a waterproof edition!

The weather eventually got the better of us - it's impossible to clean thick greasy midden when the rain is puddling on it - you just make a huge mess of the site, so the team was sent away home early. Yours truly stayed faithfully on site to handle the site tours, in a lonely outpost sheltering behind Joe's stone wall - I know there was a reason we piled the stone we removed from site so neatly:


Be interesting to see what the laser scan shows in respect of how much movement seawards there's been - everything certainly looks saggier than I remember it from last year. The lower tomb wall (in the left foreground in the pic below) seem to be at a sharper angle than last year:

There's also a lot of sand and pebbles blasted in between the stones of the lower tomb wall that certainly weren't there last time we looked. Hopefully tomorrow will be better weather and we can really get stuck in - we were spoiled by the weather last year, don't think we're getting hot and sunny this year again.

As to the bananas, a mystery benefactor - well not that mysterious, we assume it was Andrew Appleby, who sends us much-appreciated presents every year - put a box of bananas on the boat for us, which have been duly distributed to everyone - nothing like a bit of fresh fruit to keep the team going strong!

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Swandro - Orkney Coastal Archaeology Trust 

Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation No: SC047002 

Patron: His Royal Highness The Prince Charles, the Duke of Rothesay

Registered office: Bayview Birsay Orkney KW17 2LR   email: info@swandro.co.uk