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Tuesday, August 18, 2009
(Previous entries available here)

Picture: ORCAHi there! My name is Ally and I am one of the Master's students studying at Orkney College. 

It’s just after lunch on Tuesday, August 18, and so far the weather has been okay, the digging fantastic and the banter jolly.  The non-archaeological highlight of the day was when Sue Barnard, the secretary of the Orkney Archaeological Society, visited site and brought with her the most amazing cakes!  Thank you Sue! 

Well, as usual, we are all working very hard and it’s fantastic to see all our effort paying off.  Trench R was opened last week, in the garden of the adjacent house,Lochview, and was found to contain a lovely wall, which seems to mirror the ‘Great Wall of Brodgar’.  It has a width of two metres and, as of today, reached a depth of 1.10m – and is still going down! 

Picture ORCA
Kevin revealing the "lesser" Wall of Brodgar.

There was more excitement today as the "Blackbird" Company of Kirkwall kindly donated, for the afternoon, their high rise extendable platform, that can extend right across the site. This allows almost vertical photos of the structures to be made – this was fabulous as its gives a true bird’s eye view of the site. 

Picture ORCA
Structure 10, from above.

The team working in Structure 1 are slowly taking down a vast midden layer, and trying to get to grips with a strange, sub-circular wall stuck right in the middle of the structure.

Picture ORCA
Structure 1 as seen from directly above - note the large curving wall across its centre when it was remodelled.

Next door, in Structure 7, Gemma and Cecily continue to unpick all the various floor layers, and have uncovered three lovely stones belonging to a central hearth. Cecily’s hawk eyes also spotted a stone with incised decoration on it. It is very faint and very easy to miss. Since then I have been double checking every stone I upturn! So far I haven’t found any "art", but my hopes are high that I will have found a Neolithic masterpiece by the end of the week... 

Mikael, Sara and Mike have defined the outer curving wall of structure 10, and revealed some more of the surrounding paving. Next to this, and beside another circular structure, the possible remains of a drain have been identified, exciting!  This is the area where Mikael found that nice axe head yesterday

Only two more weeks of the excavation left, I cant believe it! Remember the open day is this Sunday, so anyone who hasn’t visited the site should come along! 

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