Sieving with the seals

Not a bad day weatherwise, a nice breeze and sunny without being too hot, threatened a bit of rain in the afternoon but it never materialised. Got roped in to do a bit of wet sieving in the sea on account of being (apparently) the only person on site who had steel-toed wellies with them. We're dry sieving everything else but there are really claggy midden deposits that are so low down in the sequence that they're below the high tide level and so already saturated in salt water, and impossible to dry out.

It's quite relaxing on a nice day, and our resident seal kept me company, first lounging around on his (her?) favourite rock, then doing that hang-vertically-in-the-water trick - took me back to the 1980s at Pool Bay in Sanday, where we also sieved in the sea with seals for company. Worked a treat anyway, although you do have to keep an eye out for the jellyfish swimming past.

Elsewhere we had another, nicer, bone pin from the Pictish/Viking transition layer close to where a previous pin turned up, and we also had a pin blank close by - was this a pin-producing workshop or just a coincidence?


We also got some really nice rich ashy midden coming up in the Early Iron Age levels, pretty bright red layers that show up even with my amateur photography:


There were a few sore heads and tired bodies on site today though as it was the Rousay dance last night, which ended around 3 in the morning after multiple episodes of Stripping the Willow, which at any dance involving diggers is pretty much a full-contact combat sport. Still everyone made it in and it was just such a relief to get a day without rain that the hangovers were forgotten - here's hoping for more of the same tomorrow.

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Swandro - Orkney Coastal Archaeology Trust 

Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation No: SC047002 

Patron: His Royal Highness The Prince Charles, the Duke of Rothesay

Registered office: Bayview Birsay Orkney KW17 2LR   email: info@swandro.co.uk