The Cairns Dig Diary 2019

The Cairns Day 11 – 2019

Excavating across the broch today

University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology student Alanis Buhat writes our blog today from a wind and rain battered site.

What an exciting start to the third week of the Cairns 2019! Despite the wind and rain, fresh new faces have joined us from various parts of the world to brave the Orcadian weather.

A slightly short summary of today’s activities – further structural features continue to transpire on site, with particular interest to the North East section of Structure A (the broch) where we are joined by Geoarchaeologist Dr. Jo McKenzie from University of Bradford.

Dr Jo McKenzie at work in the broch

Samples are being taken for micromorphology analyses and this will allow us to look at the structural make-up of the site soils at microscopic level. This method will be extremely useful in providing detailed information on the exact nature of the occupation surfaces.

Within the North East room of the Broch, we have been slowly excavating the occupational deposits and taking samples at each stage. Now we are ready to extend the grid to find the relationship between these floors/occupation material and the Broch walls and the features surrounding it such as the Orthostats, kerbstones and other stonework that divide the Broch into the different areas.

Vivid floor and occupation deposits in the northeast room of the broch

Similar methods will be applied to the south room of Structure A for the rest of the week. So if you are interested in geoarchaeological or environmental studies, this will be the time to joins us and discover “the unseen”. Come visit us on site or keep up to date and follow our daily vlogs on The Cairns Facebook page. We hope to see you soon!

Thanks to Alanis Buhat, M.Litt. Archaeological Studies Student, UHI.