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Thursday, August 13, 2009
(Previous entries available here)


While removing deposits within Structure 1, Antonio, one of the MA students from Orkney College, has found a very beautiful object – a very small pot barely 2 cms tall with a similar diameter but skillfully decorated with incised designs – like a miniature Grooved Ware pot.  

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The miniature pot discovered by Antonio in Structure 1.

I’m Grace Rowe and I am a local volunteer. Today, I have been working in Structure 8 and have found a piece of pot. Yesterday, I was uncovering a section of wall, which seems to me to be pointing the wrong way.  

As I write I am sitting in front of trays and trays of animal bones (mainly from Structure 10) that have been laid out to dry - there is a lot of it (almost causing to finds hut to burst at the seams). Definitely not just a single cow but a veritable herd!

It's quite amazing as the amount of unburnt bone from the all the previous seasons could have fitted in a shoe box – it just shows how bone preservation varies across the site, depending on the type of layer it was deposited in.

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Andy, Adam and Tanya investigate the inner chamber of Structure 10.

Two people have just come past with beautiful bits of flint, found while trowelling back in Structure 8 – the colour of the flint in Orkney varies greatly from the more normal greys and blacks to vivid, reds, yellows, toffee browns – in fact almost all the colours of the rainbow are represented.  

In the new trench (R) to the south of our main trench has revealed a two metre wide wall. This has led to much speculation as to whether this could be the other side (or mirror image) of the "Great Wall of Brodgar". The new section of wall definitely corresponds to a large linear anomaly that curves around the south side of the site – so not only would the Great Wall separate the activity at the Ness from that at the Ring of Brodgar, but it would also enclose all the major structures both that we have uncovered and ones that also show up on the geophysics. If the "new" wall is part of the Great Wall, the difference in width (two metres as opposed to the monumental four to six metres width, as revealed in last years trenches to the north) may be due to it being better preserved in Trench R and that, like the walls of Structure 10, this wall could have a stepped profile – so as we excavate down the width may increase to match – watch this space as more is revealed!  

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Chris, Paul and Jonny discuss 'standing stone corner' of Structure 10.

In ‘standing stone corner’ (the east end of Structure 10) very rough crazy paving has been revealed.  Compared to the paving elsewhere associated with Structure 10 this is quite scrappy and would seem to represent some later reflooring of this part of Structure 10 and seems associated with the blocking off and remodeling of a side recess in this part of Structure 10.

Meanwhile, within the inner chamber of Structure 10 more collapse is being removed to reveal and confirm its relatively small size (only six metres across, in comparison to the overall size of the structure).  Although many of these inner wall faces are robbed out, their line can still be traced and the suspected cruciform plan of this chamber is definitely taking shape.

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Mika surveys in finds in the vicinity of the newly revealed south wall of Structure 10.

On the south side of Structure 10, Mika, Mike and Sarah have now revealed the surviving lower courses of its outer wall.  Hopes are now high that, as on the north and west sides of this structure, the outer paved passage will soon be revealed, confirming it extended right around Structure 10 – if only we had time to fully reveal it all what a sight it would be!! 

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Exploring Structure 1.
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