Finding the Vikings-Skaill Dig Update

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The international dig on Rousay is now beginning to uncover finds. Test pits have been opened around the 18th Century farmstead at Skaill to investigate the underlying Viking farm.

Test Pit 1: This is in effect an extended trench from last year. A double skinned wall of Norse date has been discovered together with deposits of pottery, steatite and large cod fish bones. It would appear that this wall had been dismantled and overlain by two additional phases of wall, on which the current surviving farmstead was built.

Test Pit 2: This pit unearthed the external wall and inetrnal floor of a dismantled farmhouse with a corn drying kiln. This is depicted on an old estate plan and now survives as an earthwork.

Test Pit 3: This pit exposed the top of a stony bank that is likely to be Norse in age.

Test Pit 4: This pit was located to the west of the double skinned wall of pit 1. Vitrified fuel ash, fish bone and possible structural remains emerged in this pit.

The main trenches have been left open for visitors to examine.

The Kids Archaeology Summer Club day last Thursday was very successful with 16 children helping with the digging, drawing,finds washing and interpretation of the artefacts.

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The Kids Archaeology Summer club is continuing Thursday 14th July and Thursday 21st July. All are welcome and it is FREE to join in.

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