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Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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2,000-Year-Old Repair Revealed on Wooden Bowl

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Orkney wooden bowlEDINBURGH, SCOTLAND—BBC News reports that work to conserve a wooden bowl discovered in a well under the floor of a broch on the Orkney Island of South Ronaldsay has revealed a repaired crack. Conservators at AOC Archaeology extracted the bowl from a block of mud that had preserved it, and found it had been carved from an alder tree log. When the bowl cracked, it was repaired with a staple and strips of bronze that serve as wood rivets. Martin Carruthers of the University of Highlands and Islands said wooden bowls and other wooden objects may have been more common in Iron Age Orkney than previously thought, since the islands are mostly free of trees. The repair, however, suggests the wooden bowl was a valued object. To read in-depth about archaeology on the Orkney Islands, go to “Neolithic Europe's Remote Heart.”

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