Local News

Follow, follow, follow, follow

By Bernie Bell

…….not only the yellow brick road, but also the Swandro Dig Diary at….. https://www.swandro.co.uk/

Copied with the kind permission of the Swandro folk – not to mention the dog…..

Follow the yellow brick road, follow the yellow brick road…

We’re back! The 2022 season has officially started, at times we thought we’d never get here but we did. First job of the first day – try & drain the lake that has appeared between our site trailers and the site, flooding the path that we carefully constructed all the way back in 2019. Nothing like a bit of wading around in a bog to set you up for the day.

@Swandro Orkney Coastal Archaeology Trust

Once the drain pipe was safely dug in all that remained was to dump huge quantities of stone over the rest of the bog so we don’t all have to wade to site. Well, if there’s one thing we’re not short of at Swandro it’s stone, several tonnes of it in fact, and all of it to be removed before we can start the excavation. Killing two birds with one stone, if you’ll pardon the pun, our advance party of tough & hardy diggers – all archaeology students at Bradford – got straight to work:

@Swandro Orkney Coastal Archaeology Trust

Soon with the aid of our Mucktrucks, which I love even if no-one else does, the path started to take shape, and Gavin turned out to have a bit a of a talent for path laying, who knew?

@Swandro Orkney Coastal Archaeology Trust

By the end of the day it was done, which prompted a quick chorus or ‘follow the yellow brick road’ slightly hampered by us not being able to remember all the words. Plus our road is grey not yellow, and also stone not brick, but by that time we were too exhausted to care:

@Swandro Orkney Coastal Archaeology Trust

Shifting all that stone off the site meant that by the end of the day we were down to the Terram horizon i.e. to the protective membrane covering everything over that’s underneath the stones. Next job is to put all that sand in those decaying sand bags over our path to even it out a bit and bed all the stones in.

@Swandro Orkney Coastal Archaeology Trust

Last job of the day was a group hug with Star, a retired racing greyhound, who is busy developing another career as site mascot – the team were even fighting over who got to share the back of the Landy with her on the way back to the hostel. Might be another matter when she starts pinching their sandwiches though, we probably ought to have added that to the risk assessment!

@Swandro Orkney Coastal Archaeology Trust

To find out more click on this link: Swandro Orkney Coastal Archaeology Trust

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