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Monday, August 3, 2009
(Previous entries available here)

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The holed "standing stone".

Greetings avid readers! After your long wait over the weekend, your daily update comes today from Kevin Hume. I lived in Orkney for the first 17 years of my life, surrounded by all this great archaeology and now I am studying it as part of my joint degree, with anthropology, at Aberdeen University.

This is my first dig and I couldn’t ask for a better site - the scale and importance of it is brought home to me every day I come here to work. It’s great being home again too, especially since I get the bonus of having homecooked meals and my packed lunch made for me every day, instead of staying in a hostel like a lot of the other students! I have also been greatly surprised to find the weather so fantastic for my time home, although I think at times you can tell the locals. They are the ones still in T-shirts when others have got their jumpers and jackets on, because of the wind. 

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New incised slab from wall core of Structure Ten.

Today we got a fantastic find in Structure Ten.

A stone right in its east corner, which has been puzzling us all as to why it is there, turned out to be the stump of a broken standing stone. What is more amazing is that it has a hole bored through its middle. This was found by Ross, who pieced the broken shards of it together like a jigsaw master, at the perfect time - during a tour Nick was giving of the site right in front of around 40 tourists, all of whom were very impressed with the find and gave a round of applause to Ross for his skill. Well done!

The significance of this find may only become apparent once we can see its context more clearly – was it an integral part of Structure Ten or a later insertion – when was it broken etc etc. 

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Robbed out north corner of Structure Ten.

Aside from that great discovery, which had all the workers on the site temporarily stop and come gaze at its beauty, today has been relatively quiet. The excitement of finding the stone will keep us pushing forward to discover more great finds though!

Planning of Structure Eight is complete and levels are being taken, so soon we will get back to work taking the next layer of soil off in our mission to discover its function.

We are still trying to see if there is an outer wall face to the enclosure surrounding Structure Ten, similar to the one around Structure Eight at Barnhouse, but so far our findings are rather ambiguous. We shall see, in time. 

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Further trowelling within Structure Eight.

As it’s Monday, we have some new volunteers for this week and some gone from the previous, but, as a whole, everyone is getting on well together and the mood is always cheery.

As I finish writing this blog for the day, I laugh to myself as a car goes past and I hear “Is that Time Team” being asked by someone hanging out the window. 

Over and out, I’m off to indulge in my other hobby, photography, before getting back to digging!

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Dan and Gemma continue work in Structure Seven.
The Ness of Brodgar
Orkney's World Heritage Site
The Ring of Brodgar
Archaeology around the Ness of Brodgar
The Standing Stones of Stenness
The Barnhouse Settlement