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Dig diary 1st July - our first Swandro Sunday!

Updated: Oct 24, 2018

Today was the first of a series of Swandro Sunday' events where, on all the Sundays in July, we host mini open days with a free bus from the Rousay pier so people can come over as foot passengers and get a ride to site. This year, thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund and National Lottery players who gave us a 'Sharing Heritage' grant, we have Living History reenactors on site and at special events, alongside our usual free site tours. The first tour of the day saw members of the Orkney Archaeology Society visit the site here they are having a private site tour with Steve:

Site tour in progress at Swandro Sunday

Our theme today was the Neolithic, so alongside the site tours we had Chris Gee demonstrating his stone carving skills - Neolithic carved stone balls a speciality. We have a nice video of him explaining his skills which is on our youtube channel.

We also had demonstrations of other Neolithic skills, such as grinding barley using a saddle quern:

Neolithic grain grinding at Swandro

together with flint tools, bone, pumice, hafted Neolithic mattocks and axes - all the fun of the fair! Everyone enjoyed themselves and the sun shone all day. Prize for the most unusual shot of the day goes to one of our Neolithic re-enactors, doubling up camera operator for our youtube channel - not something you'd usually see Otzi the Iceman's Oracdian cousin doing:

Otzi the Iceman's Orcadian cousin

To round off a perfect day, we had a visit from Professor Jane Downes of the UHI Archaeology Institute and Julie Gibson, Orkney's County Archaeologist, who had a private site tour with dig co-director Dr Julie Bond, who seemed to be impressed with the teams progress:

Left to right: Dr Julie Bond, Julie Gibson & Professor Jane Downes
Left to right: Dr Julie Bond, Julie Gibson & Professor Jane Downes

See you next Swandro Sunday!


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