Polished quartz - gemstone or gaming piece?

Star find of the day award today goes to the sharp-eyed Karla for this fragment of highly polished quartz pebble, we can't decide whether it's a gaming piece or polished up to be used as a stone set into something as if it were a gemstone:

It's really highly polished and seems too uniformly shiny to be a gaming piece - the polish looks very deliberate, rather than as the result of use, which suggested the gemstone interpretation. It doesn't show up as well in the pic as in real life, and we struggled to take a good shot of it. It was decided that a black background would be best, and as I was the only one wearing a black T-shirt I had to be the background, whilst Karla held her find, Michal took the photo, and Jackie gave us all advice - this one should probably be captioned 'how many archaeologists does it take to photo a small find'

Karla had already in fact won best find of the day with this piece of a stone vessel rim form earlier in the day, but it got demoted to second place in favour of the quartz gemstone:

She did pretty well at the compulsory 'look ecstatically happy to get best find of the day' photo too:

Karla's one of our 2019 CUNY students back as a volunteer, in real life she's an elementary school teacher in New York, and sadly for us she's leaving us on Monday to go back to her day job.


We had a busy day with visitors too, including a party of 40 from EMEC - the European Marine Energy Centre - who are in Rousay for a few days, camping out with the Rousay takeaway van doing their catering. They've certainly had the weather for it today, but I hope their tents are well waterproofed because there's some weather coming in overnight.

Lindsay took advantage of the sunny day to fly his UAV and was kind enough to call it back to him so I could get a photo of them both together. It was very obedient and came straight back to him when he called it:

The site was definitely looking its best today in the sunshine, although everything was drying out as soon as it was cleaned, so a bit of rain overnight wouldn't be a bad thing.

As long as it's not too much and stops early, as tomorrow is our open day complete with Alan & Keith in their reenactor mode, hopefully we won't have to stick them in our site tent, which is amazingly still standing, despite all that the Orkney weather has thrown at it.

Finally, having been taken firmly to task for yesterday's dig diary, which both started and ended with pics of Star the site dog rather than the archaeology (although in my defence there was loads of archaeology in between) I've given a solemn undertaking not to use any more dog pics, except when she happens to be asleep in the background or walking past the site. I didn't make any promises about kittens though: