Last week the dig at The Cairns in South Ronaldsay was due to open, but unfortunately it is not to be. 

However – don’t despair – there is an excellent exhibition in the Stromness museum with many of the incredible finds including the wooden bowl found in the well. The bowl has been away for preservation and is now back in Orkney.

Excited by it’s return Michael has turned a couple of bowls inspired by this incredible find

A couple of these are still available to purchase in our gallery, or if you would like more details please contact me as shipping is not a problem.

This larger piece, although not mimicking the Cairns Cog lines, it still features similar style repairs.

I was given a bowl by my sister-in-law, a piece collected in the 1950s by her father a German diplomate. He brought it home from Africa. Martin Carruthers had heard about these bowls and told us it is a North African, Tuareg bowl of a kind known as a Tazawat bowl. Used for milking goats or camels (you can smell that🥹) and highly prized. At some point we hope to meet up with Martin so he can see the bowl in person and we can learn more about it. The main point of interest is the similarity in the repair of this bowl and the Cairn’s bowl.

Our Tuareg bowl.

After this years Orkney Archeology AGM Martin gave a talk ‘People of the Broch’. An extremely interesting talk which you can find on the link below. More talks by Martin on The Cairns can be found on YouTube.


We look forward to next year when hopefully we will be able to visit the dig again.