Reaping the rewards
We may have finished our excavations at the broch, but post-excavation work continues. Conservator Bethan has been working on the reaping hooks. These were discovered along with lots of other iron tools in a discrete area of the broch, suggesting that all the tools were stored neatly in one place.
They are badly corroded from being underground for so long. They have been X-rayed and then air-abraded to remove the majority of the corrosion, and Bethan is now working on removing the remainder so that their true form can be revealed.
This is carried out by hand using a scalpel while looking through a microscope. Having been subjected to very high temperatures during the massive burning event in the broch, the corrosion is even tougher than usual so Bethan has her work cut out for her! We’ll share the end result in due course.