Wrapping things up at end of 2021 season
We are starting to wrap things up at Skaill and the Wirk.
The last bits of digging took place before attention shifted to completing the records – photos, plans, sections and lots of context record sheets.
At Skaill, the last bit of digging in Trench Nineteen was the removal of the stone blocking wall in the passage, revealing the paved floor and main walls.
With the last of the medieval animal bone rich midden removed in Trench Twenty-Two, a series of inter-leaving layers have been exposed.
This horizon is being cleaned and recorded and will have to be continued next year.
The big story in Trench Five, is that Holly has found a stone wall!
This was sealed by layers of shell and animal bone rich midden (including dog bones), which appears to be late medieval in date.
The wall, which runs east to west, continues east below the extant farmhouse and west into the nearby enclosure. It had been dismantled before the midden was deposited and follows the same alignment as the Norse hall to the south. Excavation continues either side of the wall.
At the Wirk, recording of the trenches continues, with plans and sections for both being drawn. The overcast weather was good for photos. The internal levelling layer in Trench Two is compact and deep and we won’t be able to reach the base in our small trench.
We’ve learnt a lot about the Wirk, confirming that Storer Clouston’s plan is accurate. We found no in situ moulded red sandstone and conclude that it came from the former medieval kirk nearby. Fingers crossed there will be datable material in our environmental samples.