Whalebone vs Pot - KO in the 1st round

I'm always looking out for photogenic finds to star in the dig diary, and today's is extra special, even if it did make me nearly miss the boat home, having turned up literally as I was heading up the hill - you don't really want to hear Jackie yelling 'Get your camera you're gonna wanna get your camera' across site when you know that if you get the timing wrong you'll be sleeping on the floor in Rousay along with all the other commuting diggers who you're giving a lift to, but Jackie was right, I really did wanna get my camera because it's the most beautiful Iron Age whalebone mattock you've ever seen:

OK technically it's only half a mattock (or a similar hafted tool - I didn't hang around to hear the full discussion on account of the whole boat thing, I swear if I win the lottery I'm buying the dig a boat of our own, a jet-propelled catamaran at that) but it's gorgeous - you can see how they cut out the big hole for the haft by drilling lots of little holes all around the edges then joining them up, just the same as you'd do now if you were doing the same job.

It's not always easy finding photogenic finds for the dig diary - I mean there's always diggers trying to get me to include photos of their bits of pottery but unless you're really into Iron Age pot (and let's face it not many are) it does all tend to be a bit monotonous, so you do get folk trying to liven up their pot to get it a featured spot, and the Oscar for the best performance today goes to Rose:


And yes, I do know that she's going to kill me tomorrow for including that photo, but hey, you've got to live dangerously, and at least it got her pot included so result all round I'd say. I mean I did take a sensible pic of her with the pot, but really, of the two, which is more likely to get in?

Weather was mostly dry today so we managed to get loads done, and the later Iron Age modified roundhouse over the top of the tomb is starting to look really good, and there's lots of juicy midden absolutely hooching with fish and animal bone and lots of (non-photogenic) pottery:

Down at the lower end of site however Keith was having a bit of trouble with the spring under his bit - hard to dig when it keeps filling up with water, but help was at hand in the form of Alan the Illustrator, who manages to make even baling out a bit of an art form:


Poor Alan - he would've been today's cover star if not for the last-minute whalebone!

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Swandro - Orkney Coastal Archaeology Trust 

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