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Dolphins and decorated bone

Updated: Jan 5, 2022

The commute to Rousay was enlivened this morning by a pod of dolphins loitering off the buoy marking the end of the Wyre skerry - they'd been there on the way out and the skipper spotted them for us on the way back and throttled right down so we could get a good view. My camera was of course tucked safely in my rucksack so you'll just have to take my word for it. I did get a picture of Alice's star find of the day, this fine little decorated bone:

Not sure what it is - could it be a needle case? It's broken but very rounded and with the decorated end seems more needle case than handle, it came again from the Pictish/Viking transition area.

Elsewhere Jonathan was working away in the entrance passage to the chambered tomb (I had him stand up so you could get an idea of the scale), it's really starting to look good now and he was busy taking samples:

Behind him Jackie McKinley (who used to be the Time Team's 'Bone Lady' i.e. their osteoarchaeologist but now works for Wessex archaeology) is working away in the Iron Age levels outside the tomb and finding lots of lovely pottery:

The new trench extension to the north of the Iron Age roundhouse is looking good but also confusing with walls and alcoves in all directions, so glad we've got the amazing skills of our photogrammetry specialist Lindsey Kemp, who saves us so much time and aggravation on the recording front:

Down at the side closest to the sea there's a lot of juicy middens - rich and ashy with lots of Early Iron Age pottery, this is the area that Chloe found her seal's tooth pendant in on Thursday:

The dolphins rounded everything off nicely by doing a high-speed swim past on the way out to the Atlantic, causing much excitement but no-one had a chance to get a photo, they were going too fast. It made Alice's day anyway as she's been waiting eight years for a cetacean sighting while she's been on site and finally got one!


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