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Ready for its closeup now

A couple of contrasting days on site, yesterday warm, dry and sunny, today a very cold northerly wind and intermittent rain showers. Luckily we did a mega photo clean of the main trench yesterday and so it was looking perfect for it overhead shots:

You get amazing detail on these photos, you can clearly pick out the bright orange burnt clay of the various hearths, and even see the central hole in the quernstone in situ in structure 5 at the top of the pic. The photo scales (the red and white 2m and 1m poles) were placed so precisely by a combination of modern technology - Steve looking at the view from a hovering drone to get them precisely lined up - and old fashioned standing on cleaned stones in your socks to make sure you don't leave mucky boot prints:

It was handy that the site was looking its best, as we had visits from the County Archaeologists past and present - Julie Gibson and Paul Sharman - together with Professor Jane Downes of the UHI, who were clearly enjoying themselves:

Today was a complete contrast, the bitter north wind - coming to us direct from the Arctic with nothing much in between - meant that everyone had their extra layers and waterproof trousers on just to keep out the wind, even when it wasn't showering on us. Trench F was busy getting photo cleaned, I have no idea what Jackie has just said to Chloe but it's clearly helping to keep her spirits up:

Jackie is best known as 'Jackie McKinlay of Time Team fame' as she's been the Time Team osteoarchaeologist for many years, we have a bit of a Time Team theme this year as John Gater, the Time Team geophysicist, is also coming up to visit us for a few days.

Over at the sieves Bernadette (from New York) and Allison (from Hawaii) were still cheerful despite not being able to huddle for warmth in the bottom of a trench, and we're all now wondering if Allison knows of any excavation in Hawaii with openings for volunteers, although we'd probably all just get heat stroke:

Down on the beach we've reopened Area D, just below where we found traces of an Iron Age revetted ditch in 2018 which was subsequently shown by a ground penetrating radar survey to extend around the roundhouse. We're hoping to find both sides of this ditch surviving under the storm beach on the shore, although there has been more erosion since this area was last open:

Hard hats being the order of the day in the deeper parts of the site, Tom decided to model both his hats at once, finding that the balanced nicely on top of each other (and before we get reported to the health & safety police, he did revert to wearing his hard hat in the approved manner once back on site):


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