Corbelled cells and passage steps

Another dry day but the midges were out in force, but that didn't stop us, we're all very conscious of the ticking clock of the 2019 season running out so it was full steam ahead. Elvire was working away in the extension trench over the iron age roundhouse, she's got a corbelled cell built up against the roundhouse wall, in what seems to have been a passageway at one point. Here she is with part of the roof of hte cell, a massive slab that had broken into several parts - this was the biggest:

On the other side of site, next to another corbelled cell excavated by Jackie, we had Tom working away and uncovering a set of steps leading down into the roundhouse's entrance passageway, complete with a socket stone at the door for the door to swing in:

Here it is from the other side looking down the passage. At a higher level this just looked like the entrance passageway to the chambered tomb, but now we've got into it we think it's part of the Iron Age roundhouse - whether they've enhanced or reused the tomb's entrance passageway during the Iron Age, so the Iron Age entrance overlies the chambered tomb's passage, or if that is elsewhere remains to be seen:

Alan was kept busy drawing both sections and illustrations of some of our finds, and this is one of the quernstones we've had out of the roundhouse - bit of a funny shape for a quern but you can see the striations on it where it's been used:

In all of yesterday's excitement over the copper ore there was one very nice little find that didn't make the diary, and that is Klaudia's iron object which still has the wood it was mounted on adhering to it, possibly a big rivet for something, it's certainly circular and very well preserved:

It came from Klaudia's cell in the roundhouse, which has now come down onto a massive slab (which she's standing on in this shot) and seems to be at the end of a corridor, which was blocked off by a big slab at some point:


It's all starting to look good, and Steve wants it all cleaned up for a photo in the morning so we're hoping it will all dry up nicely overnight. The thought of a big photo clean is not something that encourages me to leap out of bed with a happy face, especially since my bit is the really dull rubbley shillety mess between Klaudia & Elvire's exciting bits but he-who-must-be-obeyed has spoken. Have also been ordered to produce a large number of wooden wedges to shore up unstable bits of walling when we close up at the end of the season, so I know what I'm going to be doing on my day off. Can't believe it's coming to an end so soon, where did the summer go?


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Swandro - Orkney Coastal Archaeology Trust 

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