That’s it for another year . . .
Today has been the final day on site. We have covered the site in sheeting, bolstered the deep sections and walls with sand-bags and weighed it all down with used tyres. Hopefully it will keep the site pristine until we return next summer.
As a special farewell, the remaining members of the team still present on site at the very end have each contributed a short statement to the blog.
- ‘My first dig was great, can’t wait till next year!’
Callum Murray, BA Archaeology student, UHI Orkney
- ‘My first Scottish excavation! My first quern discovery! All in all – amazing . See you next year!’
Fiona, Masters in Archaeological Practice student, Orkney
‘I’ve had a great time at The Cairns, my first broch site! Thanks for having me.’
Rachel Pickering, Edinburgh
- ‘I had a fantastic time – especially sorting through all the ROCKS and DIRT!!!’
Sarah, Poughkeepsie, New York
- ‘Sad to see another season over, but happy that we’ve had such a successful one! Roll on next year! Thanks very much to our hardworking team – see you guys again for TC’13!!!’
Amanda Brend, ORCA, Orkney College
- ‘Great Archaeology – Great People. Had a fantastic four weeks.’
Colin, Masters in Archaeological Practice student, Orkney
- ‘The Cairns was my first dig, learned a lot, met great people, can’t wait till next year’
George, BA Archaeology student, UHI Orkney
- ‘A pile of rocks and dirt never looked so beautiful…’
Matthew, Kelowna, BC, Canada
- ‘So four weeks have passed very quickly and we found ourselves closing the gate to The Cairns for the last time for another year with some sadness in our hearts. It was my first time on this site, and I feel privileged to have been allowed to share in the excavation of such a wonderful site, so many thanks to Martin and Amanda who gave me this chance.
‘Did we do everything we planned to back in those first few days? No. But we discovered a whole new side to the site, and with the fantastic work that has been done by everyone on site, 2013 should be an extremely fruitful season, and I know I’m not alone in this year’s team in hoping that I will be there to share in that harvest! So farewell for this year, but watch this space…So long and thanks for all the stone’
Dave McNicol, ORCA, Orkney College
- ‘It has been a phenomenal season of excavation at The Cairns! Even the mundane tasks undertaken unexpectedly illuminated important aspects of the history of the site while the set-piece encounters with those parts of site that we already knew to be key outdid my expectations many times over.
‘We hit on some cracking archaeological stories whether it was the growing evidence for a very early Viking presence on site, or recovering details of the architecture of the souterrain, and the features associated with it.
‘Most of all though, it has simply been good fun and a great privilege to share these discoveries and investigations with the cheerful, hard-working and thoroughly smart team – I’m very proud of them and personally grateful to each one of them’.
Martin Carruthers, Archaeology Department, Orkney College UHI
Martin Carruthers would like to thank the public of Orkney, and beyond, for visiting the excavations and expressing support for, and interest in, our work.
He would also like to express deep gratitude to the landowners Charlie and Yvonne Nicholson and their family and friends for once again making our four weeks at The Cairns such a pleasant and fun time. The practical assistance given by Charlie in particular makes our excavation possible at all! Thank you!