The Cairns Day Nine 2017

Today's blogger Hanneke and Maria excavating Iron Age soils banked against the natural till
Today’s blogger Hanneke and Maria excavating Iron Age soils banked against the natural till

Today was another glorious day at The Cairns. Many visitors have been taking the opportunity to visit the site and enjoy tours by the knowledgeable Martin, Kevin and Ole.

The squad have been working hard and we had various interesting finds today. Kevin spotted a small blue glass bead on the wall of the broch wall in the ‘red cell’. It looked as if it had been wedged between two courses of masonry. Definitely an exciting find!
First appearance of the blue glass bead
The first appearance of the glass bead
Charlotte cleaned the metal working furnace and found debris and furnace lining. The team in Trench Q found a very large worked stone and some pottery. Hannah removed a scapula (shoulder blade) from the ditch on the outside of the broch wall. The question in this area is whether the ditch was built before the houses or if the broch developed more organically.
Work inside the broch
Work inside the broch
Peter enjoyed some charcoal sampling for carbon dating and Gary made a sketch (planning) as a record of that particular area. I have trowelled down to the natural ‘clay’ and sandstone of what is possibly the upper edge of the terrace created to build the broch. We cleaned the area and a nice clear division between the natural layer and later contexts were revealed.
Therese working on the furnace as seen through the tuyere hole in the slab lining
Therese working on the furnace as seen through the tuyere hole in the slab lining
All in all an enjoyable and exciting day.
Hanneke Booij, MSc Student University of Stirling.