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First 2024 star find of the day

Our first star find of the day for the 2024 season goes to Luke, who's come all the way from the USA to volunteer with us, and found this rather splendid quernstone, broken across the centre but still with the hole for the handle:

We've had a couple of scorching hot days so it's as well that we're now excavating and not just shifting sandbags, it was unbearably hot yesterday and still pretty hot for a large part of today, we could really do with a bit of rain to moisten up all the surfaces instead of baking them dry. All the sun also plays havoc when you're trying to take record photos without having all the shadows spoiling the shot.

We had some VIP visitors today, Professor Judith Jesch and Dr Colleen Batey, who were interested in the remains of the longhouse excavated by Sigrid Kaland back in the 1970s. Professor Jesch is in the process of preparing her new translation of the Orkneyinga Saga for publication, as part of the Ragna's Islands Project and as part of her research is visiting all the sites mentioned in the Saga. The Westness area of Rousay features for the kidnapping of Earl Paul in the 12th century, as explained in this blog post from way back in 2016

If you have been following us for a while you'll remember that last year we put a trench in the next field and found the continuation of the longhouse, which was built out of stone robbed out from the rest of the site, you can have a look at our 2023 dig diary entries for more information.

Julie was busy reviewing her notebooks from previous seasons using one of our our sandbag piles as a suitable seat and table, you couldn't really want a more idyllic setting:

Hopefully tomorrow won't be quite as hot, the weather this year seems to go from one extreme to the other.


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