A visit to the Orkney Museum store in Kirkwall in early January by three intrepid souls proved to be something of a harrowing ordeal. The store currently located in a former ten pin bowling alley is dry, well organised and full of space, unlike many museum stores. It was, however, rather cold (probably a good thing for the collections) and lacked windows – not exactly good for spirits when you enter before sunrise and leave after the sun has set. Retrieving sherds from the Pool archive proved to be a trip down memory lane for Ann who had looked at the material as part of her PhD many years ago.
It soon became obvious that the soup/broth being cooked on hearths on Neolithic Sanday was not burned very often, or that people like to keep their pots clean. Eventually we found a small but not extensive collection of sherds to sample with burnt food residues. The results are particularly eagerly awaited by Ann – will her ideas about the chronology of Grooved Ware on Orkney be proved correct?