This excavation in Rousay is a race against time, with the coastal location under threat of erosion by the sea.

The dig is focused on the Knowe of Swandro which is home to a 5,000-year-old Neolithic chambered tomb, Iron Age roundhouses, Pictish buildings, a Viking settlement and a Norse Long Hall, all of which is being destroyed by coastal erosion.

A complex sequence of buildings, including a massive Iron Age roundhouse, is built into the tomb mound, which must be excavated before the chambered tomb can be reached, and this is the priority for the 2023 excavation.

Visitors are very welcome at the site from 19th June until 6th August. The archaeologists usually have Fridays and Saturdays off, but might be working on some of those days if they need to compensate for days lost to bad weather. If the weather is extremely wet they are unlikely to be on site to avoid damaging sensitive archaeological surfaces and for health and safety reasons. Find the dig on Facebook for regular updates.

If visiting when archaeologists are not working, you are welcome to view the site and the information boards, but please stay outside of the safety ropes and do not enter the site itself.