Dig Diary – Thursday, July 4, 2019

Day Four

Beaten by the weather

No a digger in sight. Looking across Trench P from Structure Ten this morning. (Sigurd Towrie)

Orkney’s weather is unpredictable to say the least but even hardened Orcadians were dismayed at the summer-time (allegedly!) conditions unleashed upon us today.

It rained. And rained, and rained and rained. Then it rained some more. It’s still raining.

The continuous sheets of precipitation were helped along by strong westerly winds and made for a very unpleasant day for those out of doors.

It would be nice to report that our rugged excavators dug on, through the howling precipitation, but early this morning it was clear that this would be quite impossible.

The surfaces underfoot were extremely treacherous and, quite apart from the safety considerations, any attempt to trowel in such sodden, sticky conditions would probably cause damage to the archaeology.

A moat begins to appear at the base of the ‘Great Wall of Brodgar’ in Trench J. (Sigurd Towrie)

So, with the greatest regret (and he really means that), site director Nick had to cancel all digging operations.

The forecast for tomorrow is looking better, so all going well we’ll be back on site ready and raring to go.

Although digging was put on a weather-induced hold, site tours continued and there were a number of hardy visitors who struggled through the wind-driven rain to see the slightly-sodden glories of the Ness.

Our thanks to all who braved the elements today to visit the site and we’ll see you all tomorrow…