It’s Day Thirteen and Conal O’Neill, BA (Hons) Archaeology UHI student steps into the breach to write todays blog post from The Cairns.
As day thirteen of excavations on The Cairns draws to a close the amazingly good weather has remained.
Within the broch, or Structure A, soil sampling continues alongside planning by Therese while Gary continues to dig a large pit. A new addition to the team, at least since I arrived at the start of the week, is Jo, who has been enacting soil micromorphology, where small soil block samples are analysed to provide a detailed assessment of the microscopic floor layers of the broch.
Within my own area, of soil sampling within a grid, a worked bone, possibly antler, was discovered. Following the cleaning of the area surrounding the antler it was photographed, however then I was called away to write this blog, so excavating it will sadly have to wait until tomorrow.
In structure J, Sam continues to lower the soil in the corner of the structure, and further tidy it up for photographing. The ditch area, dug by Gary, Iona, has been further cleaned and excavated yielding lots more animal bone and revealing a large lump of slag in the process, which may actually be a furnace base.
In Structure O some high, superficial orthostats (upright stones) were removed to reveal the wall beneath and further excavation has revealed bone, pottery and possible worked bone.
Finally, in Area Q the team is continuing to excavate the trench to the level of Area M eventually forming a ‘super trench’!
Anyway the hut’s about to be locked up and Bobby’s threatening to lock me in here for the night, so before I become part of The Cairns I’m going to leave!
Conal O’Neill, BA (Hons) Archaeology UHI Student.
!!Stop Press!! Towards the end of the day Dr Scott Timpany arrived on site and told us that he’d managed to identify the wood species of the wooden bowl from the well. It’s made from Alder.
Meanwhile he has also been out in the landscape near to The Cairns visiting a wetland site where the conditions may allow us to obtain a picture of the ancient environment at the time of the site. There will be a very useful palaeoenvironmental record of hundreds if not thousands of years embedded in this!