Monday, 12 July 2010
Orkney "bleeds" archaeology
Or rather the full quote is "Scratch the surface of Orkney and it bleeds archaeology". As well as the plethora of existing sites that abound in Orkney (here is a good resource of existing sites and monuments), there are continual searches for new finds. The photo above (courtesy of Tom Muir) is of a dig currently underway at Cairns, Windwick, South Ronaldsay.
Last year on the island of Westray the "Orkney Venus" was found. Now known locally as "The Orkney Wife"! This is a small crudely carved figure, estimated to be 5000 years old and thought to be the earliest representation of a human figure found in Scotland. The "Orkney Wife" is now on display in the Heritage Centre on Westray (click here).
Work is still continuing on Westray and further finds are hoped for this year. The diary of the dig at Notland can be found here.
Also last year excavations were underway at the Ness of Brodgar, between the Ring of Brodgar and the standing stones of Stenness. There's some info and photos from my visit to the dig last year here. Archaeologists are returning this year and work will begin from 19th July and go through to 22nd August. I'm sure they will have a daily blog again so I'll post a link once it's live. You can see a diagram of the site trenches and geophysics here.