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Tuesday, August 4, 2009
(Previous entries available here)

Hi my name is Tanya Freke; I am one of four Cardiff Archaeology students that have invaded the site. I enjoy digging in the mud, long walks on the beach and dead things. The latter has been quite a fortunate interest of mine today, as the lower half of what I believe maybe a young sheep (so far) has been unearthed in Structure 10. I have been quite happy working on this, as my osteoarchaeology course has finally become quite handy.  

Picture ORCA
Cleaning back across the end wall of Structure 8.

Apart from the nice big bits of juvenile sheep bone that I have been feverishly chasing through the broken stone there are large quantities of Orkney Vole appearing everywhere.

In addition, there have been two more decorated stones uncovered today. One is a very interesting stone with pecking decoration of seven "cup" marks appearing in a circular design. The original individual peck marks that create these are still discernable and are so fresh that they seem to have been carved only yesterday. The other decorated stone consists of the small pecked design in a straight line.

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The multiple "cupped" stone.

In other site news, the small treasure trove corner of Structure 10, that has so far given us such delights as the human bone fragments and the "standing stone" stump, has now produced deer skull fragments, including one piece with the antler still attached, as well as several pieces of decorated stone.

Along from this area, more of the large outside walls of Structure 10 are being revealed and, interestingly, there seems to be two sets of outside walls which seem to contain a flagstone walkway.

Nick wonders whether this walkway was open to the sky or if the main structure was roofed that the roof extended out over this walkway/passage to create a covered passage that would lead into the inner building.

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Sarah uncovering the various wall lines defining Structure 10.

There's still no sign of the outer wall face of this outer enclosure in Mike’s sondage, which may suggest that Structure 10 was partially built into the surrounding midden dumps or that the outer wall face has been robbed out.  

STOP PRESS

Back out on site, I’ve just discovered another first for the site – a beautiful bone bead – only the second piece of worked bone found on site that may give indications of  the survival of other bone artifacts to come! 

Orkney has been brilliant, standing archaeology wherever you look around the site and the nearby landscape as well as everybody that I have come in contact with having some archaeological knowledge.

It is incredible to look at the site now and compare it back to the site that met us only last week. Walls are starting to become more defined, and the whole place is looking more organised as more recognisable areas of structure are emerging.

Structure 8 is a good example of this.

After relentless planning yesterday, it has now been recorded enough to be taken down, exposing more of the impressive walls and revealing a set of what seems to be a set of three curving alcoves. 

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Tanya excavating some articulated bone.
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