Untangling the walls

In order to consolidate and stabile the west wall of the broch, we have been excavating a possible opening within the inner wall. This has also given us a great oppertunity to investigate the opening as it was potentially the entrance to the stair gallery.

Our excavations in this area were through a thick deposit of rubble and shattered stone, that was the backfill of the Victorian excavations. From this backfill deposit we found two squared pieces of bone decorated with groups of concentric circles. These are possibly gaming pieces, the style of decoration is common in Iron Age and Early Historic bone objects such as combs and handles.

Renna shows off the first of two decorated bone pieces that she found at the broch.

After the excitement of finding broch period artefcats in the Victorian backfill, what of the possible stair entrance? The walls of the opening through the iner broch wall are built on rubble from the collapsing broch, and are not a primary build. It is likely that these walls are an artefact of the Victorian excavation and repair, but they may reflect original openings seen during these early excavations and no longer visible.

As with at much of the broch we are now finished excavating in this area and will need to start the consolidation and conservation of the monument.

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