Dig Diary – Thursday, August 17, 2017

Day Thirty-Four


Structure Fourteen gets its clean before Hugo’s photo session.


Puzzling developments and another ‘butterfly’ stone

Andy and the newly revealed fourth hearth slab in Structure One.

Cleaning, planning and photography occupied much of today at the Ness, all of which are the essential prerequisites for shutting the site down next week.

The archaeology continues, however, and in Structure Fourteen the final photography session, part of which involves Hugo’s camera-on-a-pole, will be followed by his expert work in making high resolution 3D images of the structure.

Much the same applies to Trench T, which has undergone rigorous cleaning in order to allow more pictures to be taken by Scott and his drone.

Sadly, this is the last day for Scott and his Willamettes, who will be heading for home at the weekend.

Site director Nick wants to thank them for the magnificent work they have done in what has been an exciting and productive excavation season, and also thanks the other diggers who will be leaving at the end of today.

We have two puzzling developments.

Emma and her new piece of art.

Outside the North end of Structure Eight, a morass of confusing wall lines has appeared.

These were initially thought to relate to Structure Eighteen, which is located under part of Structure Eight. It now seems that these complicated elements may represent several structures, but resolving the issue will now have to wait until next year.

The good news is that Emma has discovered another “butterfly” stone in amongst the rubble.

The second puzzle concerns Structure One, where Andy and her team are removing the inserted Phase Two wall and have just uncovered the fourth side of the primary hearth.

Confusingly, the primary hearth has primary material lapping up to and over it.

Clearly, there is something wrong here. You cannot have a primary hearth overlain by primary material, and somehow this issue must be resolved.

Close up of the art.

Video blogger Simon tells us that the second part of his interview with site director Nick will be up on the websites tomorrow morning. This should not be missed.

Nick also has an important appeal to make.

Next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, we will be covering the site up for the winter.

This is a heavy job and Nick asks anyone in Orkney who is reasonably fit and who might have some spare time to consider helping us with the task.

If you can do it (and you will be up and close with the archaeology if you can), please email Nick at nick.card@uhi.ac.uk.

Last, we must apologise if this diary appears on our website a little later than usual.

This is for unavoidable reasons — which we will leave to your imagination — but which may involve some quite serious headaches tomorrow morning.

Our second Open Day is on Sunday, so please come along if you can.

Until then…

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