Excavation LIFTE Rousay Skaill Farmstead Viking/Norse

Skaill and the Wirk, Rousay: Day Six

It's the start if the second week at Skaill and The Wirk.
Excavating below late floors in Trench Nineteen, Room Two. (Dan Lee)

It’s the start if the second week at Skaill and The Wirk.

Today the thick fog gradually lifted and we enjoyed a lovely, warm, sunny afternoon.

Jen crouching in her section, where a distinctive assemblage of pottery has been found behind a blocking wall to the right. (Dan Lee)

At Skaill, Jen’s section behind a wall used to block the passage between the earlier ranges of the farmstead has come up trumps. The early rustic pottery was present in the silty rubble down to the paved floor at the base, along with lots of animal bone and a fragment of clay pipe stem.

The pottery is difficult to date as we don’t have many comparisons for post medieval rural settlements in Orkney and it could be regionally made, but the clay pipe suggests a late 17th to early 18th date.

Excavation below the later phases of internal floors aims to find similar datable material. Early days yet but promising progress in dating the earlier farm.

Work on the midden in Trenches Five and Twenty-Two continues, with lots of unglazed pottery and shell.

Sarah Jane and Chris at the Wirk, Rousay. (Dan Lee)

At the Wirk, the team continued excavating down the sides of the outer walls, mostly through levelling material.

However this appears not to have been disturbed by Storer Clouston so might contain material suitable for radiocarbon dating in the bulk samples. Sarah Jane continues to find lots of finely moulded red sandstone fragments south of the outer wall. Only one day more digging to leave time to record and draw the trenches.

More finely 13th century moulded red sandstone fragments. (Dan Lee)

Today we were joined by UHI MRes student and artist Helen Garbett and her portable “limpetarium”.

More on her research tomorrow!