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Wednesday, July 29, 2009
(Previous entries available here)

Hi everyone, it’s day eight of the Ness of Brodgar 2009 excavations and we have been enjoying a blustery sunny day up here in Orkney.

I am Gemma Cruickshanks, a post graduate student at Orkney College studying a master's degree in archaeological practice. I came up to Orkney for the fantastic archaeology, breathtaking scenery and lovely people – and this dig has it all!

Today I have been helping Anne in the finds hut, which has involved laying out finds from the site to help them dry out before they are packaged up and sent to a variety of specialists. It is fascinating to see all the objects which are being found around the site throughout the day, and to ponder over their former purpose.

It has been a busy day so far with excavations and tours continuing as usual, along with the added excitement of a visit from Time Team’s Mick Aston, and filming by the BBC (due to be shown on Reporting Scotland tomorrow?). 

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Cleaning back in Structure 10.

Work has been continuing in Trench P and a small army of archaeologists has been working away in structure 10, cleaning and clearing the overlying rubble and shillet to define the outer walls of the structure. Yet more examples of Neolithic art have been found along the inside of the wall, surviving as faint, incised geometric lines, including another discovered by Mikael near the southern wall of Structure 10.

As I type this from the finds hut, part of a human jaw bone, including molars, has just been found within the deposits inside Structure 10. It’s all happening today!  

The complete base of a pot was found yesterday by Clare and this was successfully lifted out intact by Nick this morning.

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The very squashed pot successfully lifted today.

Clare and Mike are continuing to clean up this area which is packed full of more pottery sherds and might have been a dump of broken pottery

I have been really amazed by the quality and quantity of pottery found on site already, especially some of the decorated pieces like the beaded sherd found yesterday, and some great fragments of Grooved Ware found today.  

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Mike and Clare reveal yet more spreads of pot.

Work is also continuing in Structure 8 where, after a clean and some recording photography, a number of possible features are being investigated within the ashy deposits. Linda’s pit continues, will she ever emerge again? Only time will tell.   

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Cecily planning Structure 7.
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