ERT survey and more stone shifting

Another day of hard graft on site but we're getting there, and on the surveying side Chris and Tom have been doing their thing involving many pegs and laying of cable and generally making the mound look a bit like an art installation, all in the name of their Electrical Resistivity Tomography survey (ERT for short):

Well, that was after they roped in the trusty site Landy aka the Swandrover/the Beast to get all their gear down the hill to site, I had no idea cable drums could weigh so much, plus batteries and endless bags of pegs and gizmos. The hope is that this high resolution survey will tell us what's going on in the bit of the mound (i.e. the Knowe of Swandro itself) not yet reached by coastal erosion, or at least of the density of the archaeology. You can see just looking at the mound that there's shed loads of stuff in there - it doesn't look that big from the seaward side due to all the destruction, by if you stand on the landward side and look up it's huge.

Meanwhile on the beach the stone clearing continued - we're opening up the site right down to where the lower casement wall of our chambered tomb should be if any of its survived. We were rewarded at the end of the day with a little glimpse of some f the stonework, seen here in the three large slabs directly behind the person in the purple coat:


OK it doesn't look like much but we're ecstatic that any of the lower wall of the tomb has survived so far, considering how much disturbance there is on the beach. The sobering thought is that there used to be many more metres of tomb walling above that plus all the Iron Age buildings that we have at the head of the beach and they're just not there now. This really is archaeology on the edge!

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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