We are in the heady throes of the fieldwork season in Orkney, and neither of us are near our Stromness base, or our pier, for the day. But strangely enough, we are both still dealing with stone piers. Antonia is out at the Ness of Brodgar, excavating some of the finest Neolithic structures in Britain, many of which survive to 1.5m in height and have stone piers projecting into the centre of the buildings.
Dan is in Kirkwall for the day, excavating test pits in the town’s gardens, looking for remnants of the medieval burgh. An earlier phase of the project revealed a medieval stone pier, projecting into the shoreline of the Peedie (or Peerie) Sea, long since consumed into the town.
Neolithic or Norse, medieval or 19th-century, the affordances of the local stone mean that there are remarkable similarities in the drystone architecture of all periods found across Orkney.
Sunrise 05.12 Moonrise 08.28
Sunset 21.26 Moonset 22.07
Low tide 05.27 (0.48m) High tide 11.39 (3.37m)
Low tide 17.29 (0.85m) High tide 23.51 (3.63m)