Today’s excavation update from the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute’s Dan Lee.
Remains of an earlier building encountered at Skaill
Excavations continued at Skaill, where, in Trench Nineteen, Jen and Siobhan cleaned up after the removal of the floor level, revealing a stone-built platform from an earlier phase. We are not sure what the building was used for but it appears not to have been a house, but a barn or byre.
Excavation of the early midden horizon in Trench Twenty-Two recovered unglazed pottery and animal bone – perhaps dating from the Norse period. Similarly, Trench Five is now down to the earlier midden, ready for excavation tomorrow.
At the Wirk, the walls in the upper Trench One show that although remains of the hall survive, only the last few courses are left above the natural clay. There must have been quite a slope to the floor down to the tower or perhaps it was stepped.
Excavation down the side of the large outer wall in the lower Trench Two continues, with a compacted stoney clay in the inside. This might have been levelling for a floor.
Two finely carved decorative roll and fillet red sandstone mouldings, perhaps 13th century in date, were found in Trench Two, along with lots of unworked fragments. Further evidence of a high-status site.