2019 dig dates announced for Swandro Dig on Rousay - archaeology volunteers welcome


14 November 2018
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Applications are now open to volunteer for the 2019 Swandro Dig on the island of Rousay, which will take place from 22 June to 10 August.
2019 dig dates announced for Swandro Dig on Rousay - archaeology volunteers welcome Images

Applications are now open to volunteer for the 2019 Swandro Dig on the island of Rousay, which will take place from 22 June to 10 August.

Training the archaeologists of the future is an important part of Swandro's work, and the team has archaeology students from the UK and USA digging with them as part of the team. It can be hard for aspiring young archaeologists to gain enough field experience to be able to get a paid job in archaeology, particularly as many excavations charge their volunteers to attend. Volunteers at the Swandro Dig are welcome free of charge. 

What is the Swandro Dig?

The Knowe of Swandro, in the Orkney island of Rousay, is being destroyed by coastal erosion. This unique archaeological site includes a 5,000-year-old Neolithic chambered tomb, the concentric outer walls of which survive underneath the storm beach, Iron Age roundhouses, Pictish buildings, a Viking settlement and a Norse Long Hall. 

The Knowe of Swandro represents a unique opportunity to totally excavate a Neolithic chambered tomb using modern scientific techniques. Once the tomb has been excavated, attention will then move to the Iron Age, Pictish and Viking/Norse buildings.

How to get involved

If you'd like to volunteer, visit the Swandro Dig website for more information. Prospective excavators should be aware that due to the location of the site, the uneven terrain, and unstable nature of the storm beach you will need to be both fit and well to dig.

QUICK LINK: New radiocarbon dating of Pictish sites

(images copyright Swandro-Orkney Coastal Archaeology Trust)