Dig diary Sunday 15th July: the tide is high but we're holding on...

New moon on the 13th July so we've got spring tides for a few days, which means that the bottom of the site is in more danger than usual of drifting out to sea:


Joe & Klaudia in the entrance passageway to the chambered tomb

Luckily the weather was flat calm - not a breath of wind, which meant that the tide lapped gently at our ankles, instead of overwhelming all the carefully excavated areas - otherwise we'd be baling out and removing seaweed or the odd passing seal from the trenches.

Oh I do like to be beside the sea side...

Spring tides just highlight the danger the site is in - a spring tide in the winter with an Atlantic gale behind it can remove a couple of metres of archaeology in a single night.


Downside of a flat calm day was the humidity and plagues of kleggs and other assorted flies - flat calm days are just not normal in Orkney. It being Sunday we had our regular 'Swandro Sunday' event when we have a free bus service from the pier and it was a really busy day - a lot of people had been to Steve & Julie's lecture last week and decided to visit us. The folk in the morning had the better day of it - the weather turned a bit for the worse and the afternoon was distinctly soggy:



A group of visitors being given a site tour by Steve

You can see how calm it was even then - there's an umbrella in the picture, not something normally of much use in Orkney as they tend to turn inside out the second anyone opens them!

Our resident Vikings luckily had had time to take down and put up one of their tents from the camp yesterday, and so had some shelter for their gear - I do like the spears being used to hold up their awning:




I imagine that soggy Vikings were pretty much the order of the day anyway - goretex and rubber not having been invented they probably spent most of the time wet & miserable!


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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