Archaeology The Cairns Dig Diary 2017

The Cairns Day One 2017


Photo thanks: Jim Bright.


Welcome everyone to the new blog for The Cairns.  Today was day 1 of the new season of excavations.

Today consisted mainly of preparing the site by removing the covers that have protected the site over the winter and spring months.  This can be an arduous, physically demanding process but it’s also a very rewarding one as we slowly (or sometimes not so slowly, as indicated by today’s progress!) see the archaeological features emerging.

The site is already looking very impressive and together with its new extension on the South-west, we’re going to be spending most of our time this season in three main areas of the site.

DCIwA22WsAEOVYY.jpg largeThe first area is within the broch itself.  As we delve further, and more intensively, into the floor deposits of the massive monumental roundhouse we hope to continue to build a picture of life inside this imposing structure and the range of activities that went on inside.  The second area is so-called Trench Q, which lies to the north and east of the broch, and where we expect to reveal more of the extramural complex of buildings that lies around the broch.  Essentially we think this area represents a village, contemporary with the occupation of the broch.

Thirdly, but by no means least, we intend to fully excavate the underground souterrain or earthhouse (Structure F), which lies outside the broch entrance and dates to the period immediately after the broch was abandoned and filled in with rubble

We have a fairly large team of diggers and over the next four weeks they will be providing daily updates giving you regular insights into our progress and the wonderful finds that the site has to offer.  Each of our key areas of investigation will be covered in these blog posts and you will be able to experience the discoveries very close to the moments that we make them.

Tomorrow we will be able to begin cleaning up the surface of the site and begin to start excavating in earnest, so please join us on the blog to see what emerges!

Martin Carruthers, Site Director.

If you want to follow us on Twitter you can also do that @thecairnsbroch