Firstly, apologies for the delay in updating the blog, it has been a busy week or so. The Archaeological dig at the Ness of Brodgar has started and I have volunteered a couple of half days a week, to help out at the shop on site that raises money to support the dig. Although the dig does get money from the Island Council, more is always needed. The American Friends of the Ness of Brodgar raised sufficient funds to extend the dig for an extra couple of weeks this year however the money that this shop raises makes a significant contribution to the work, just one carbon dated sample costs over three hundred pounds. Because of this volunteering I was invited on the initial tour of the dig by Nick Card the dig supervisor where he explained to the volunteers and the diggers as to what stage the dig was at, the plans for it this year and any news from the research over the winter. It was a great experience to be allowed so close to the site and to have the various buildings explained to us by Nick and his colleagues.
My first day helping was rained off so I had to wait until the Monday to start. I met the lovely Annabel who with Linda run the shop most of the time. I was giving a few minutes of ‘staff training’ and set the job of selling squares on a map on the site. This method of fund raising has proved very popular, people pay £10 per square and mark it with a pin. Should anything be found on their square they will be emailed a photo of the find and a brief description. They also get a newsletter keeping them up to date on what is happening.
This job keeps me very busy at times, it also means that because of where the map is placed you are often the first person people arriving on the site meet, and you soon get asked all sorts of questions, it is great fun dealing with these and hopefully I give the right answers!
All the money from this, as well as any gift aid goes directly to the dig itself, it makes all the standing outside in the wind all the more worthwhile. Although it has now warmed up considerably, my first few days on the site were very cold and windy so I decided to buy the latest fashion accessory, available only from the dig – a NOB Hat ! ( see photo ) These and the tee shirts and polo shirts are only available from the NoB shop as we call it. So make sure you are ready for the next London Fashion week!