Dig Diary – We did it! The entire site is uncovered ready for public opening
Tuesday, July 4, 2023
We did it! All the structures, in all three trenches, are uncovered ready for a good spruce up tomorrow ahead of excavation resuming.
This is in no small part to a valiant team of volunteers, who not only turned up to brave the worst of an Orcadian summer yesterday but returned today to finish the job!
They did sterling work across the site and we’re sure we wouldn’t be at the stage we’re at were it not for their invaluable aid. Thank you all!
Arriving on site this morning the wind had (fortunately) dropped – a must for removing the covers – and the sun was even threatening to peek through.
First on the agenda was bailing out the lagoons of standing water in some of the buildings, beginning with Structures Ten and Twelve. The water had pooled on top of the covers, lying in the many nooks and crannies across the the floor surfaces.
This had to be carefully removed before the uncovering work could begin because we can’t have gallons of water washing through the archaeological deposits beneath.
This took longer than anticipated and your glass-half-empty diary writer had his doubts we’d complete the uncovering today.
But how wrong he was!
By 4.15pm, the last of the covers was removed from Trench J and neatly set aside until it’s needed again at the end of the season.
As we made our way to pack up for the day, the entire site was bathed in glorious sunshine. The first time since 2019.
Outside the trenches we’re delighted to report that the on-site shop is up and running and the finds hut decked out ready for the first of 2023’s discoveries.
Tomorrow’s tasks will begin with an initial clean of the trenches – removing detritus and weeds – ready for our first public tours tomorrow, Wednesday.
The site gate opens officially at 9am, with free tours at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Pop past and say hello.