Week 2 on the Brough

buildingThe second week of excavation at the Brough of Deerness has been very eventful. We uncovered a new Viking Age building, and removed another structure (recorded last season) to see what is under it. Although the new building is of Viking date, it’s built in a Pictish style (with large edge-set stones lining the wall at floor level) – very interesting indeed. In other contexts we’ve also found a variety of artefacts, including small bone pins (characteristically Pictish) and gaming pieces to go with the gaming board discovered last week. One, carved in bone or ivory, is in the shape of a sword pommel. One of the iron objects we’ve found is probably an arrowhead , but it will need to be x-rayed for definitive identification. Julie Gibson, the Orkney Archaeologists, also visited to give us helpful guidance and join us for lunch in the ‘tea tent’.


There have also been other aspects of the archaeological work. We’ve hosted a visiting Danish PhD student, Poul Heide, who will study the role of the Brough of Deerness in Viking Age navigation and communication. Meanwhile, Martyna Wiejacka, an exchange student from Poland, has been sieving soil samples at Orkney College in order to prepare botanical and animal remains for further study. We’re also gearing up for our open day on Sunday, 17th July. There are now just three weeks left of our field season, and there is much still to be done … finds


James Barrett

8 July 2011