Excavation work is under way in Shetland as part of the Looking in from the Edge (LIFTE) project looking at the Northern Isles place in the European trade networks of the 15th to 18th centuries.
The University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute is carrying out an evaluation excavation at Gunnister and test-pitting in gardens in Lerwick. Both operations began today, Friday, August 6, and run until August 15.
The farm mound at Gunnister, close to a known German trading site, will be trenched to recover stratified artefacts and animal bone. Excavation methods will follow protocols used successfully in the identification of exchange networks in material culture, fish and other animal-based products across the North Atlantic islands, where a series of one-metre-square test-pits are used to locate and target suitable midden deposits for stratigraphic excavation.
The work in Lerwick will see a series of one-metre-square pits dug in the gardens throughout the town to identify diet and the dispersal and range of imports based on material recovered.
The Lerwick test pits are exploratory at this stage, establishing potential locations for a second phase of excavation in 2022.