It’s Monday and the weekly routine on site starts again.
There is a new batch of first year UHI students on site ready to begin their first second year module bringing with it a slightly extended weekly brief detailing the findings of last week which include the discovery of the outer ditch around the broch, progress on finding the plateau, or terrace, edge, the steady progress in Trench Q, including the voided pit, and the ongoing excavation of the interior of the broch.
After briefing, the excavation started and with rested excavators, the finds and discoveries quickly started popping up. In the outer broch ditch (in the south west extension) there have been continuous finds of bone, burnt clay, pottery and a piece of copper alloy, adding to and expanding the material record of the site. In the same south west extension, a furnace bottom was found. This is a ‘plano-convex’ shaped cake of solid iron waste that forms in the bottom of a smelting furnace.
Over in Trench Q the continual trowelling and mattocking revealed what looks like an interior wall face. While it remains unknown what this wall relates to, and how far it extends, it looks nicely built and substantial and may well be part of one of the village buildings that goes with the broch.
The team in the interior of the broch have been exposing more of the occupation layers and further distinguishing the interior divisions, giving something to look forward to over the coming weeks as the occupation layers are excavated.
Lastly the furnace keeps on as ever producing slag and keep the small finds team busy, with it looking ever more likely that it was dismantled before it was covered up.
Overall, it is business as usual on site, with people continuing previous efforts to reveal ever more detail about the nature of occupation though it seems that over the coming week there may well be some new discoveries to report on soon.
We will keep you posted!
Ashley Davis, Placement student, University of Bournemouth.