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Dig diary Sunday 29th July: Swandro swamped by visitors!

Updated: Oct 27, 2018

Our last 'Swandro Sunday' of the 2018 season was a resounding success - there were 90 people on the Rousay boat and most of them were coming to site. So much so that our free minibus shuttle to site had to do four runs and passing Rousay residents were offering lifts. All the publicity about the Pictish smith's handprints on our anvil had obviously sparked people's interest. We had the anvil on show - well at least Tom was standing by to unwrap it so people could see it and then wrap it up again to protect it.

The Swandro Living History team went down well again, and our younger visitors enjoyed a bit of dressing up action. We would like to again thank the Heritage Lottery Fund and National Lottery players for our 'Sharing Heritage' grant to enable the presence of our Living History reenactors on site during the 2018 excavation.

A young Viking at Swandro

We also had a visit from a team of reporters from the New York Times who were doing a piece about the effects of climate change. They took lots of photos & did long interviews with Steve & Julie. They even, despite winds gusting to gale force, managed to fly their drone to get some aerial footage of the site.

Elsewhere we've started the backfilling - one of the things that makes life so hard for Team Swandro is the amount of effort we have to put into opening and closing the site at the start & finish of the season. We have to physically reinstate the storm beach to protect the site as best we can over the winter. Here's the the Pictish Smithy all covered in for the winter:

Pictish smithy site of the anvil at Swandro

We're still finishing off bits on the rest of the site, before backfilling starts there too. The possible side cell to the tomb is looking good and there's still time to do a little more excavation before closing up:

Side cell to the tomb at swandro

The day ended with torrential rain although the wind has eased a bit - typical for the weather to break right at the end of the dig but we have been lucky so far. It's got that end-of-season feeling now - although it's not the County Show until a week on Saturday, folk in Orkney always say 'the summer's over after the County Show' - bit of a depressing thought to end on!

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