Weaving combs & Roman glass - just another day at Swandro!

Been a day where interesting finds just kept hopping out the ground so spoilt for choice, but I think the star find has got to to be this bone weaving comb from our Iron Age roundhouse, found by Emma our Australian Leiden student:

It's just the right shape, made to fit the weaver's hand to perfection, and it looks just as good from the other side too:

Emma was on a definite roll as she immediately followed this up by finding a big bit of Roman glass from the same area:

Although the Romans didn't get to Orkney, you do get odd bits of Roman glass at high-status sites (e.g. the broch at Howe of Howe near Stromness, or Mine Howe in Tankerness) and they usually seem to be related to the consumption of alcohol (see Ingemark, D 2014 Glass, alcohol and power in Roman Iron Age Scotland Edinburgh: National Museums Scotland).

We also had some decorated pottery but I didn't get a chance to get a photo so they will have to wait. Also a quick update if you remember the possible ingot mould from yesterday's diary:


Alan Braby our resident illustrator (who's drawn pretty much everything found in Scotland in the last 30-odd years) recognised it from ingot moulds he's drawn elsewhere, so we're now pretty happy with that description.

Our laser scanning team were busy again today, here seen getting a scan of the interior of the corbelled-cell-with-cupboard excavated by Jackie with their dinky version of the big scanner on its mini-tripod, hence able to fit into confined spaces:


The northern trench extension is now starting to make more sense, and we've clearly got the roundhouse wall coming through, together with vast amounts of later collapsed walling:


It's the last day on site for a few folk too - Dr Julia Beaumont our isotopes specialist is heading back to Bradford, but not before producing her own star find in the shape of a young pigs cranium, which got her very excited (she was a dentist in a previous existence before seeing the light and specialising in archaeological teeth so anything vaguely toothy gets her jumping up and down, she did tell me all about what was special about young pigs teeth but I didn't write it down and now can't remember it, sorry Julia!):

It was also Alice's last day too, she's been a Team Swandro member for many years and this year here from the start but has to go back to her proper job in commercial archaeology, she'll back next year, she doesn't do big farewells though:


And with that it is also time to Foxtrot Oscar and head for a nice cold beer - tomorrow's a day off but we're back on Sunday for another exciting instalment, see you then!

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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