For the last in our series looking at the excavation of each major building on site over time, we turn to Trench J and Structure Five – the earliest building uncovered on site so far.
Overhead view of Structures Five and Thirty-Two with highlighted elements. Phasing has been simplified in this diagram and only shows original wall faces (black) and certain later editions (blue). (Paul Durdin)
Structure Five has a staggered excavation history. It was first encountered in 2006 but the trench was closed in 2008 and re-opened again in 2017. He were see the backfill being removed in July 2008. (ORCA)
2008: The northern end of Structure Five emerging from Trench J (left) alongside the curving section of the ‘Great Wall of Brodgar’. (ORCA)
Structure Five, represented by the elliptical wall section in the centre of the picture, at the end of the 2008 season. (Craig Taylor)
2017: After nine years under the covers, Trench J was re-opened in 2017. Structure Five is pictured at the start of the season after the removal of the backfill. (Scott Pike)
2017: Structure Five and the ‘Great Wall’ at the end of the excavation season. (Scott Pike)
2018: Trench J was extended to take in the western end of Structure Five – pictured here to the right. (Scott Pike)
2018: Orthostatic views generated from the end-of-season 3D models. The later Structure Thirty-Two is beginning to emerge, on top of Structure Five, to the left of the picture.
2019: Structure Five and the ‘Great Wall’ at the end of the season.