Weird underground stuff

Scorching hot today and the start of our last week, can't believe how fast it's gone.

On site we're frantically finishing bits off and that included having a final go at the strange corbelled cell on the seaward side of the site, which we found last year and thought might be a side cell of our chambered tomb. Having excavated more it is now looking like one of the weird Iron Age underground chambers you get in Orkney - it's got a step going down and some rather odd sides - a bit like upside down corbelling, and it's quite big, big enough to fit inside anyway:



It's also filling up with water at quite a rate - too fast to bucket out, we're going to try pumping tomorrow (somewhat annoying I'd taken the pump away already to save space in the finds hut as we hadn't used it, not realising that it was going to be quite so wet down this hole, so will now have to carry it back on the boat in the morning along with all its hoses etc - grrr!). Got a couple of shots attempting to show the sides which also show the water bubbling up, my boot's on one of the inverted corbelling slabs so you can see how they step out:


And the same at the other side:


The fill of this odd little feature hasn't had much in it, just a few animal bones although we've duly sampled it and sieved it - no treasure at the bottom, just a big slab and some pig jawbone, which was duly bagged up in case we can get a radiocarbon date out of it. Will hopefully have some better pics tomorrow if (a) can carry the pump onto the boat and (b) can get the it working - I hate pumps, you spend all your time priming and cossetting them, then they go and clog up and break on you.

Just to finish off, if you remember Chloe's star find of a few weeks back (she's still not got the tattoo of it yet), but her seal's tooth pendant looks even better cleaned up for its photo op:


The weather forecast's good for tomorrow and we're still digging, not yet started backfilling although that will happen shortly, probably on Monday as we have to be all closed up and secure by the end of Friday, so if you're heading out to visit us please do it quickly!

340 views
  • Follow us on Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • Visit our YouTube channel
  • Follow us on Instagram

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