We've done it, made it to the end of the first week of hellish backbreaking labour and everyone is still alive and what's more cheerful! Chloe, one of young American students, even questioned whether she HAD to go for a tea break when I called it this afternoon as she was having so much fun building a massive wall and stone pile! (I said yes on the grounds that the rest of us needed a sit down for a bit as we were older & more decrepit than she was). Here she is on said wall/stone pile:
The dry stane dyke is Joe's work, he used to do this professionally, so we're making the most of his expertise while he's here - he has to get back to his PhD laser scanning historic buildings and we've only got him for a fortnight. I am however hatching a cunning plan to chain him to one of the site trailers so he can't leave.
We have deployed our secret weapon though - the mucktrucks, or powered wheelbarrows, which have been doing sterling service shifting the tonnes of rock we put down last year to protect the Iron Age buildings over the tomb:
I was summarily overruled last year by they-who-must-be-obeyed aka Steve & Julie the site directors when I pointed out that if we didn't protect the Iron Age buildings they'd get washed away by the sea over the winter and we'd get into the Neolithic tomb a lot quicker which would be a lot more fun - I mean, who would ever know? Just because they're the foremost authorities on the Iron Age in the Northern Isles (Old Scatness anyone?) they do tend to take it awfully seriously. Anyway we did fill it all in properly (I know, I was there, got the T-shirt & the blisters) so now we're hoicking it all out again:
Anyway we've got a day off tomorrow and the Bradford and CUNY students were getting fish and chips for their tea at the Taversoe, no doubt followed by copious amounts of beer - although Brant was a bit worried that all the stone hoicking was going to spoil his grip on his beer - I told him to get a straw (see I can do the supportive supervisor routine if I have to) and I'm getting beer & curry (in that order) so I'd probably better finish this off while I can still focus on the keyboard. See you on Sunday for another exciting instalment, but just to say also that on a serious note we really appreciate all of the grants and personal donations that have helped to make this year's excavation happen, thank you, we couldn't carry on without you!