Date: 9-9-98

 Journal Entry No.108




Well, the excavating has virtually finished and we are packing up. Given the small amount of time that we have been digging at Crossiecrown we have achieved a great deal. At the beginning we were optimistic that the site would be interesting - which indeed it has. We have almost certainly discovered a site which spans the late Neolithic/EBA divide - something which was virtually unknown in Orkney. The form of architecture within the house coupled with large amounts of artefacts will give us a clue as to what occurs during this little known period of time. As always, however, this has simply wetted our curiosity. The floor layers of the house structure remain intact and a detailed examination of these deposits will provide information about what occurred within the building. A large void has opened up beneath an area of robbed walling in the main house - is this part of a substantial drain or could it be a cist containing a burial as was found at Skara Brae. These and many other questions will have to wait until next year.

Everyone has really enjoyed working at this site and the success of Crossiecrown has been due to a number of people and bodies. The excavation would not have taken place without a grant from the Orkney Islands Council, and we would particularly like to thank Jeremy Baster, and Julie Gibson the regional archaeologist. Christine and Scott Harcus allowed us to dig large holes in their field and we very much appreciate their kindness and patience! We all say 'three cheers' for our friends at Orcargo, particularly David Laidlaw, who provided free transport on their famous vessel the 'Contender' (most certainly the best way to travel to Orkney), and supplied our much admired boiler-suits and hard-hats. Peaces car hire (the best way to travel in Orkney is with Peace), kindly supplied vehicles for the excavation. Tankerness House museum have helped us in numerous ways as well as putting on an exhibition of our greatest finds, we would like to thank Bryce, Anne and Tom for all their help. Icongraphy very generously set up this web-site and many thanks to Mike Walker and his colleagues for their patience in helping us make it work. Finally, we all (especially myself) would like to say a very big thank-you to Dennis Bichan (if you get a chance to try Orkney Icecream don't miss it - I can tell you personally its great!), who has kindly allowed us to use his computers and office at all times - without his help this site would not have worked half as well - thank-you Dennis!

The excavations may be finishing but further examination of the artefacts, etc. is just beginning. We will update this web-site as the analysis proceeds and also let you know any developments, etc., regarding funding for further work. I'm sure there are still many surprises in store. We all hope that you have enjoyed following the excavations at both Crantit and Crossiecrown, we have certainly enjoyed digging them up!

Colin Richards


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