The 2019 Swandro excavation is almost upon us, in fact an advance party of keen & eager Bradford students has arrived - namely Klaudia, Hannah and finds hut supremo Hollie, together with Caz who's commuting over from Birsay on the boat - and they are starting to get the site organised. Here they are enjoying a spot of lunch on some of the new digger's benches - it had stopped raining for a while then, but the rain returned soon after this picture was taken.
There's lots to do: trailers to unpack, information boards to set out, the site to cordon off, paths to reinstate - not to mention around 2,000 small finds bags & labels to write out - enough to keep everyone out of trouble this week at least! Thankfully the strimming has already been done, we've learnt the hard way that the best thing to do when strimming a vast area of thick grass and dockens is to hire a professional who has all the right equipment. We need the whole of the landward side of the site to be cleared as Bradford University's Dr Chris Gaffney is coming up with his ground penetrating radar equipment so needs good access. The site itself looks like it took a bit of a battering over the winter - it's a bit hard to see in the pic below, but there's a distinct hollow in the storm beach on the right over the Iron Age buildings - we definitely left it a lot more filled in than that. There also seems to be a fair few orthostats (upright stones, part of the structures) projecting than there should be - we won't know what's gone over the winter until everyone arrives and we can get to the serious business of uncovering the site.
On the plus side we've got our new site sieves this year, lovingly made by Dave over the last few weeks, and seen here looking rather fetching. OK the sieves are painted a different colour to the sieve frames, but that's not my fault exactly, the manufacturers have renamed all their colours and what was autumn brown last year is harvest brown this year and all I could remember is that it had 'autumn' in the title, so got autumn gold which turns out to be not the same colour at all. Anyway it's just to keep out the rain so don't suppose it matters.
OK off to get some kip now on account of us commuters have to get up at 5.30am to get everything else done & the dogs walked before heading off to get the boat, not like someone who will be nameless who was still eating her porridge in her socks at 08.50 am (the porridge was in a bowl, she was wearing her socks that is) - apparently young people don't get up until 12 noon if they can help it!