17th century date for Skaill’s early farm suggested by glazed pottery finds
The second week is proving really productive at Skaill as we get down into the lower horizons inside and outside the farm buildings.
The section inside the passage contained an imported fragment of Rhenish salt-glazed stoneware, of likely 16th to 17th century date, found alongside crude locally produced pottery. This was just what we are looking for to help understand Hanseatic trade in the LIFTE project.
Other shards of imported wares were found below the internal floor. Here, below rubble levelling, the primary floor with a covered drain has also been exposed.
The star find in Trench Twenty-Two was part of a whalebone spindle whorl, found within the late medieval middens. Lots of animal bone is coming out at the lower levels and work continues.
Similarly, Trench Five contains green glazed pottery and lots of animal bone. All useful horizons to understand and date the early phases of the farmstead after the Norse hall had fallen out of use.
At The Wirk, the team continues excavating levelling layers within the building.
These appear not to have been previously excavated by Storer Clouston, but appear to contain little cultural material, comprising of redeposited stony glacial till. Hopefully the bulk samples will contain datable material.
Sarah Jane keeps finding more fragments of finely moulded red sandstone. It seems like Storer Clouston only kept the very best bits!