With every stone that is moved, the broch seems to become more dramatic, and now some of the intricate corners are now under investigation, including the guard chambers off the entrance passage. Excavating these calls for a really tiny archaeologist who likes dark, confined spaces, so if that’s you, do get in touch! Meanwhile we’ll hope none of the team gets stuck inside.
They are all looking pretty muddy, and there are grumbles about the amount of baling out that needs to happen each morning. Everyone is wishing the rain abates for at least some of the next three weeks and doesn’t wash away whatever might otherwise be discovered in the lowest layers of the broch floor.
Yes, incredibly, just three weeks remain until this part of the archaeology project is finished. If you haven’t managed to get to the broch yet, make sure you don’t leave it too late. There is nothing quite like having an archaeologist explain what they are seeing and why they are doing what they are doing – especially as so many interesting objects are still being found.
This project is not just about excavation, of course. The real purpose behind it is consolidation of the monument to conserve what remains. It will, of course, be swept into the sea eventually, as global warming brings the sea level up and increased storminess will inevitably increase the ravages of waves. But thankfully it will now stand a few more years.
The south wall, which has been in danger of collapsing for years, has now been shored up with concrete, and the original stonework rebuilt over it. A repair is being made to one of the massive lintels from over the doorway to the staircase. Some conservation of the north outside wall is also in progress.
Meanwhile, the excavation team are starting to dig down into the hearth area. It will be fascinating to see what was cooking in the years before that fire got out of control and caused all this bother.