Archaeology The Cairns

The Cairns – June 17th

The weather continues to bathe the site in wind, rain, a little sleet and more wind.

If you turn up the volume on the video, you can hear the dominant noise in this area of South Ronaldsay today. It isn’t a train,it’s the wind. But still the archaeologists carry on, wrapped up against the June Orkney blast.

This was my first visit to the site while work is in motion and the main feature of the site for me is the broch. However I was not prepared for the sheer scale of the walls. I have seen many photographs and of course have visited the site over the winter when the covers were on, but the photographs do not really do justice to the size of these walls. The craftsmanship involved is also quite astounding to my eye…and of course the walls are built without mortar holding the whole thing together.

There is a huge amount still to do and as if to demonstrate this Martin pointed out the huge pile of rocks and debris that is to be removed this season. This will expose the full circuit of the broch wall to view…and hopefully more finds that will shine a light on the life of the people that used to inhabit this windswept hillside on a southern Orkney island.

Don’t forget to visit Orkneyjar for more information on The Cairns.

Sean, South Ronaldsay resident

The infill that is to be removed this season. You can see the curve of the broch wall running beind the two archaelogists