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Wed, August 11, 2010
(Day 18)

Rain, rain go away. . .

We awoke this morning to torrential rain battering off windows or, in some cases, tents.  Due to the rain yesterday, and overnight, work was again suspended, with only staff members remaining on site to, once again, catch up with a multitude of odd jobs.

Picture ORCA
And the rain stops at last....
Picture: ORCA
Applied design on Grooved Ware.
Picture: ORCA
Incised design on the Grooved Ware.
Picture: ORCA
Applied 'pellets' and lines.

Andy Hollinrake our site photographer set up an impromptu studio in the site supervisors hut in order to get some record shots of some of the finds before they are boxed up.

Here are just a few.

With respect to the pottery, this again seems to emphasis the wide range of decorative motifs used to decorate some of the Grooved Ware – both incised and applied decoration.

As is common with the weather in Orkney, by this afternoon all had again changed, with sweltering sunshine drying up parts of the site and making it workable again.  Some diggers manned the trenches again and work resumed.

In Trench R, Sarah and Luke continued work at the Lesser Wall of Brodgar (a name Sarah dismisses, as she argues that the wonderful nature of the revealed stonework warrants a more superlative name!).

Sarah was responsible for the trench last year and has promised us that she will reveal the bottom of the wall by the end of this season – lets hope so!

Already we have had to step the sides of the trench out for health and safety reasons, but who knows we may have to step them out again if the wall survives to a much greater height.

The beauteous nature of the stonework leaves everyone who has seen it with a sense of awe and wonder. 

What a sight would have greeted the Neolithic people as they approached the Ness from the Stones of Stenness – they too must a felt the same sense of wonderment we feel today.

In the central chamber of Structure Ten, excavation has commenced around the so-called "dresser" (or, as argued before, should this be called an altar in this context?).

Most of it has collapsed, with only segments surviving of the back and side walls (where naturally coloured yellow sandstone has been used in places) and the central support of red sandstone. Several of the stones were further enhanced and shaped with extensive areas of pecking noted on their faces.

Imagine, also, the cup and ring stone (the so-called "Brodgar Eye", discovered last year, just behind the "altar") perhaps being set into it.

What a splendid sight this must have presented as one entered the central chamber to be confronted by this edifice!

Picture ORCA
Sarah in front of the 'Lesser Wall'.
Picture ORCA
The "altar" in Structure Ten.


Maeshowe Alignments
A Neolithic focal point?
Stone Age art
The Great Wall of Brodgar
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
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Orkney Archaeology Society