Despite some seasonal weather, the first week of fieldwalking in the Orkney World Heritage Site buffer zone has finished and six fields have been walked to the east of the Loch of Harray.
Twenty-three intrepid volunteers have been out over three days in mixed weather – thankfully Wednesday was sunny and dry! We’ve walked fields around Maesquoy and Ness Farm (many thanks to the landowners). Views across the loch to Brodgar are spectacular from this part of the parish.
We’ve had some scatters of flint (including a knife and scrapper), an area of cramp (burnt material usually associated with pyres or burials) and some interesting post-medieval and modern pottery, clay pipes and a glass bead.
Due to the wet conditions over the winter few new fields have been ploughed this year, so we have been focusing on fields that were ploughed before Christmas. These are nicely weathered and finds are easily visible on the surface.
We are collecting finds in ten-metre transects and logging the position with an centimetre accurate GPS (Global Navigation Satellite System – currently using US GPS Navstar and Russian Glonass constellations for the technically minded among you!)
Let’s hope the weather improves and the farmers can get ploughing soon.