Below can be seen a panoramic image of the "basin" where the digs are taking place. To the west of the image is the village of Finstown with the rolling hills of Rendall and Evie extending to the north. In the centre of the image is the the bay of Firth with views to the northern isles of Shapinsay, Eday and beyond. While on the eastern edge of the image, Wideford Hill is visible with Kirkwall (not visible) lying just beyond. To control the panorama click on the image and drag the mouse in the direction you wish to view. Keys A and Z zoom in and out (IBM PC).

The discovery of the first settlement or village at Stonehall was due to the interest and knowledge of the farmer, Mr Ronnie Flett, who collected a series of Neolithic artefacts from a particular field after ploughing. The second site at Crossiecrown was discovered by fieldwalking (but once again after obtaining vital information from the farmer Mr Scott Harcus). Both sites, although being concealed beneath the plough-soil, are hopefully going to provide amazing results from large-scale excavation which we are beginning this week.

Previously we have examined both sites and some people may have seen the web site for Crossiecrown which was produced last year. This examination, however, has previously been on a small scale due to financial constraints. This year we have managed to secure substantial grants from Historic Scotland, Orkney Island Council, University of Glasgow, University of Manchester and University College Dublin. Our transportation to Orkney has once again been kindly supported by Orcargo. These funds will allow us to excavate both sites simultaneously with teams from all the above mentioned Universities, and it can be guaranteed from the outset that our discoveries will be little less than spectacular. We know this from the results of our previous small-scale examinations of both sites.

It is intended to document these discoveries almost as they happen on this web site, and you will be able to follow both excavations and the excitement of discovery that each generates as it proceeds over the next four weeks. You will also get to know the people involved and the impressions and interpretations they have of the different sites. Interestingly, it will soon become apparent that each person interprets the archaeological evidence a little differently and frequently ideas change drastically as new evidence comes to light. We hope you will enjoy sharing these discoveries with us and hopefully you too will form your own views of both the nature of each site and the way we interpret them.

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