Local News

Swandro Excavation Update

Via Bernie Bell

Copied with the kind permission of Caz Mamwell…..

Link: Swandro Orkney Coastal Archaeology Trust

We’re counting down to the start of the 2022 excavation at Swandro, we’ll be back on site from the 20th June until the 12th August. This has been a long time coming and at times over the last few years it seemed like it would never happen, but we’ve made it at last.

Preparations have been underway for weeks now, all the site trailers have been hauled out of storage where they’ve sat for the last 3 years and been checked over, new tyres fitted, old tyres pumped up, information boards spruced up and a new site banner board produced, which as you can see now looks very fine. Even managed to stick it down on the board without gluing it to myself too, although one of the dogs did get a bit sticky.

@ Swandro Orkney Coastal Archaeology Trust

It’s a bit of a squeeze getting it in the site trailer, but it was built to fit through the door as long as it’s lifted level. It’s more of a struggle carrying it into position on site as that’s about 100m over rough ground and it gets heavier by the minute. We’ve got a good team lined up for this year’s dig, a nice mixture of old hands and first year archaeology students getting their first taste of excavation – hopefully some of this year’s students are big and strong!

@ Swandro Orkney Coastal Archaeological Trust

There’s a lot of effort goes into planning an excavation as you can imagine, even more so when your site is in a small island and at the bottom of a big hill with limited access. If you forget to take it with you it’s not a simple pop into the shop to pick it up. I think we’ve got everything but I’ll likely be proved wrong.

@Swandro Orkney Coastal Archaeology Trust

In case you’re wondering why there’s a watering can in the back of the trailer that’s just in case the site dries out too much for features to show up well in a photograph – it has happened, even in Orkney you get drought conditions sometimes. We’ve had pretty good weather here the last week but the rain is now lashing against the windows. Also hoping when we get out to site that there’s not too much seaweed all over it, it’s hard enough work uncovering it without having to shift the seaweed too.

@Swandro Orkney Coastal Archaeology Trust

It takes a lot of hard work to go from the site-in-hibernation-mode in the pic above, to the spectacular cleaned up for a final photo shoot below, but we’re up for the challenge. As usual we’ll be posting a daily dig diary on our website and updates on our Facebook page too, so you’ll be able to follow our progress, and of course if you’re going to be in Orkney you can come and visit us, full details are on our website.

Overhead shot by Tom Sparrow at the end of the 2019 season, showing the massive Iron Age roundhouse overlying the Neolithic chambered tomb at Swandro. @Swandro Orkney Coastal Archaeology Trust

Please Make A Donation – Thank You!

We need your help to fund our work! You may make a donation using your credit card, debit card, PayPal account or set up a direct debit from your UK bank account. US taxpayers who wish to make a US tax-deductible donation of $500 or more to us via CAF America, a US 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit please click here for more information

Leave a Reply