Stones & Bones
This weekend is packed with a variety of events, with the focus on Sanday's outstanding and internationally acclaimed Viking archaeology.
11.00-12.00 in the Community Room at School
Ingrid Mainland, osteo-archaeologist from Orkney College, will be giving a 'hands-on' presentation. A brief introduction, then plenty of action as you discover what can be learned from animal bones found in the ground.
15.00-16.00 in the Community Room at School
Michael Barnes, author of 'The Runic Inscriptions of Maeshowe, Orkney', will be showing us Runestones found in Orkney, and talking especially about the significance of Sanday's own Viking Runestone, found by chance in May 1995
Olwyn Owen, co-author of 'Scar: a Viking Boat Burial on Sanday, Orkney', will give an illustrated presentation 'Landing in Paradise' that will tell the story of the Vikings arrival on the island over a thousand years ago.
After this talk, the eagerly-anticipated island debut of the youngsters of Broken Strings will take place in the Community Hall alongside.
10.00-10.45 in the Community Room at School
Caroline Wickham-Jones, an Aberdeen University lecturer based in Orkney, will give an up-dated presentation about the latest techniques used and discoveries made in underwater archaeology.
from 11.30 until the end of the afternoon, on display in the Heritage Centre:
Three iconic items from the finds made twenty years ago in the Viking Boat Burial site at Scar:
Sanday's Whalebone plaque - a beautifully-carved artefact, thought to have been given by a young Viking to his girl-friend - and possibly taken with her to her final resting-place. Last seen in Sanday on 8th December 1991, the plaque has been to Australia, and more recently to York Museum. This, though, is the day of its brief return home.
Sanday's Viking brooch - just over 13 cms long and around 5 cms wide, the brooch was encrusted with soil when it was found. After countless hours of careful restoration work, it has been transformed, and looks like the treasured item it clearly once was. The brooch is decorated in relief with a common Viking motif of 'gripping beasts'. Today is the first-ever excursion for the brooch; since first leaving the island it has been to Edinburgh for the conservation work - and then in Kirkwall ever since.
The little lead weight, found some years before the excavation, that formed part of the evidence that the site at Scar really could be a Viking Boat Burial.
Also on show will be:
Sanday's Rune-stone, and the other Rune-stones shown by Michael Barnes.
Thirty or so items, almost all of which have been found on Sanday (many from Pool in the 1980s), and all associated with the Vikings
A set of Viking artefact replicas, including a brooch and a plaque similar to ours; and a replica helmet, sword and shield.
During the afternoon, you will have a chance to learn the Viking board-game of Hnefatafl from a Viking (Ragnhild Ljosland) .
Refreshments will be provided by Sanday's Guides, by kind permission of Myra Stockton. These will not be sold, but donations will be gratefully received by the Guides. There will also be - on sale - postcards of various items found at Scar.
All of our visiting archaeologists will be in the Heritage Centre from 13.30, and will be delighted to talk to you, and especially pleased if you bring to show them items that you may have found on the island.
16.15-16.45 in the Heritage Centre
Julie Gibson, Orkney's county archaeologist. will give the final, informal, talk about Sanday's special significance in the world of Archaeology. Seats will be available - but just in case the audience is bigger than anticipated, please bring a cushion.