|In the bottom left corner of the field containing the Rim of Bookan there is a sheep gap under the barbed wire fence against the 'standing stone' which I used as a shortcut. One of few sites that actually look better in summer, needs vegetation to bring the shapes out. Stll not photogenic, and now some big rabbit holes have appeared in the large southern exposure of material. Coming from this direction there appeared to be a slight lip at the base of the downhill side of the mound maybe a metre across. Perhaps this was a smaller version of the Ring of Bookan itself I thought - presently it is thought to be a natural mound, but antiquarians noticed the soil had been brought in from elsewhere. A natural assumption is that it is a satellite rather than of a piece with the mounds that used to lie nearer the loch. I wonder if it could be the other way about ; three burials were found around the outside of Skae Frue but not the expected one in the centre, and the Ring of Bookan had a central 'chamber' of some kind. From the way the burials were arranged the excavators also expected another to square the circle. What if a fourth individual had been due to take that place only they achieved so much in their life that they were able to have the Ring of Bookan built instead ? Of course even if there is still datable material deeper in the mound the rabbit activity could critically disturb the stratigraphy here. Skae Frue as presently exposed stands a mound of mostly earth with very few stones, mostly debris. It struck me as possible that after the excavators finished they chose to replace their diggings - there are likely signs of digging on the top, surely they would have dug straight down the middle for their expected central burial. I took the long route out, which entailed going through an 'Orkney gate' and a pair of disparate gates held together with rope that were leaning against the fence. Scraped through one (beware barbed wire round gateposts) and muscled the other.
Posted by wideford
19th August 2006ce