Roll away the rock...

Very high tide today so the waves were practically in the excavation, thankfully it wasn't too windy at first, it did pick up quite a bit later in the day but by then the tide was down.

First on the agenda for today was to remove the massive slab of stone that has been sitting in the entrance to the roundhouse amongst the collapsed rubble, but not before Alice had carefully excavated some large chunks of cow bone in the rubble around it:

The it was all hands on deck to drag the thing out of there, using - in the best archaeological tradition - rollers and brute force. We did have some planks to help, and some sturdy straps to haul on, but it took a fair bit of effort. Oh, and just so you know, Gavin isn't standing on the back getting a ride like some Pharaonic overseer, but is in fact weighting the back end down so we could pivot up the front and get another roller in there:

Finally did get it up onto the bank and then flipped it over just to check for carvings on the underside, I was hoping for swirly Neolithic and everyone else for a Pictish symbol stone, but sadly nothing there at all.

Star had a eventful day too, she's usually pretty good about just pottering around site and snoozing in the sun, but today she decided she'd go for a little trot along the track up the hill and see where it went - she got as far as Midhowe broch before I caught up with her. This left her so tired she only just had the energy to scrounge her usual lunchtime cheese before being forced to snooze in the sun again:

The side cell in the roundhouse subdivision looked good cleaned up for its photo just at the end of the day, if you look closely you can see the crack along the bottom of the left hand orthostat, which we found broken and slipped back against the stone behind it. It needed taking out, and then it occurred to me to wonder if you could get the two bits to join again, and not only was it a perfect fit, it balanced very nicely without needing to be held. Then I wished I hadn't been playing with it, as Steve decided that since it looked so nice we should do a quick photo clean and get a pic with it back together. I hate photo cleaning, especially at the end of the day when it has to be done in a hurry. Anyway it turned out fine and looked OK in the pic and you can hardly see the join:

That bit of walling at the back right of the cell is one of my favourites too - filling in a corner so carefully with lots of teeny stones, you'd just bodge it with concrete now!