We're not rained off - we have a day off!

What's the difference between a day when you're rained off site - as everyone else digging in Orkney has been today, due to truly yucky conditions - and a day when your directors have cannily looked at the weather forecast & given you the day off in advance? Easy - you get to work on Saturday to make up for it as it only counts as a rained off day if you turn up for work - how's that for devious? Our five day weeks are largely notional anyway, I think they-who-shall-be-obeyed (our esteemed site directors Steve & Julie) just tell the students they'll get two days off so as not to put them off coming. Back in the day in Sanday we always worked six day weeks and spent most of our day off hungover due to the beer we'd drunk the night before, then most of the first day back on site hungover - due to the beer we'd drunk to cure the first hangover - and it never did us any harm. OK the finds supervisor did always have to keep a giant pack of Alka Seltzer in the finds hut, but that was about it. Of course we don't do that nowadays (waaaay too old) and in any case the students are an oddly sober and serious bunch, very keen on the archaeology and I don't think they've had a hangover among them yet. How times change!

Since we've not been on site today there's no pics, but I've been saving this one for a special occasion, it's one of Lindsey Kemp's photogrammetry composites of the chambered tomb and overlying Iron Age buildings, with several different seasons stitched together:

The scale at the top is 5m and it shows the massive arc of the concentric walls of the chambered tomb at the bottom of the pic, with the entrance passageway on the right. Outside there's the Pictish and Iron age buildings on the shore, and right at the top the Iron Age roundhouse which has been somewhat unceremoniously plonked on top of the tomb. It's our job this season to unpick the Iron Age above the tomb and work out what's going on - there's a whole series of odd little buildings and rebuilds, collapses and just plain old bodged bits all over the place, not at all helped by the whole site being undermined by the sea. Will certainly keep us busy - 6 day weeks definitely on the cards for the foreseeable future, lets just all hope for some decent weather for a change!

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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