Issue: Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 135

Publication Type:
Title: Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 135
Year of Publication: 2005
Volume: 135
Number of Pages: 0
URI: http://www.socantscot.org/ProceedingsSAIR.html
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Abstract
John Ellis
1 - 4
Anne Crone
Ciara M Clarke
5 - 17
The paper briefly summarises progress on wetland archaeology in Scotland to date and outlines the SWAP (Scottish Wetland Archaeology Programme) proposal for a strategic programme of works with the aim of seeing the potential of the archaeological resource of the Scottish wetlands more fully addressed. Although the proposals focus primarily on freshwater wetlands, as there is already a Scottish forum to develop initiatives in coastal archaeology, it is recognised that there is an overlap between these areas of interest.
Marilyn M Brown
19 - 39
Traces of the gardens laid out around Glamis Castle in the late-seventeenth century have been recorded during aerial survey. The paper discusses the form of the gardens, the indications of earlier features, their character and their destruction. Documentation relating to the estate, the architectural sketches on the Pont manuscript maps and the results from geophysical survey are considered in relation to the evidence from the cropmarks.
Derek Alexander
41 - 118
Cropmarks of a cemetery containing square- and round-ditched burials were excavated at Redcastle in 1997 and 1998. A total of sixteen graves was recorded: five in square barrows, two in round barrows and nine unenclosed graves. Another round barrow is clearly visible on the aerial photograph outside the excavation area. Preservation of the graves and the human remains therein varied considerably. Analysis of the bones identified two females, three possible females and one possible male. Radiocarbon dating showed that the burials dated from the third to eighth centuries AD. There was no readily apparent connection between gender or age and the use of square or round ditches to enclose the graves. Some evidence was recovered for Neolithic activity in the area while the remains of a timber-lined souterrain were also excavated. The fill of the souterrain contained a range of artefacts including native and Roman pottery, Roman glass and iron tools. Detailed palaeoenvironmental studies were undertaken of the basal deposits in an attempt to clarify the use of the souterrain. Radiocarbon dates indicate that it was in use prior to and during the first to fourth centuries AD. Includes separately authored reports on
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Gordon J Barclay
119 - 161
The paper outlines the strategic background to, and role of, the Cowie Stop Line, a Second World War anti-tank obstacle running west from the town of Stonehaven. The purpose of the Line was to stop any German force landing in north-east Scotland penetrating into Angus and further south. The Line was extended to the west, by defences at the Bridge of Dye and the Devil's Elbow, and planned demolitions on the Inverness--Perth road and railway. It originally comprised a dozen pillboxes, over 5km of anti-tank barrier, eight small and one large groups of anti-tank cubes and other defensive features. The author discusses how the Line was constructed, and how its intended function changed over time. The results of the first complete survey of the surviving remains are also presented. Includes
159 - 160
eye-witness account of the construction of the Cowie Line
Nick Card
163 - 190
Excavation at the chambered cairn of Bookan, Sandwick, Orkney, in June 2002 revealed that the cairn excavated by James Farrer in 1861, and later described and planned by George Petrie and Henry Dryden, was only the primary phase in the history of the site. After the site had fallen into disrepair or been deliberately slighted, the original cairn, c. 7m in diameter, was incorporated in a stepped cairn or platform, c. 16m in diameter, bounded by three concentric revetments. The role of Bookan as the type-site for a variety of early style of chambered cairn is reconsidered, along with the `monumentalization' of the site in an Orcadian context. Separately authored contributions include
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Stephen P Carter
Magnar Dalland
191 - 212
The excavation and publication of the Bronze Age banks discovered at the Black Crofts, North Connel, in the years around 1970 may be considered a landmark in prehistoric archaeology in Scotland and, in particular, the study of archaeology under blanket peat. Investigations at the site continued up to 1978 but the results of this later work were never fully published. Recent archaeological investigations, triggered by housing developments in the Black Crofts, have led to renewed interest in the site and the earlier archaeological studies. This paper provides a summary of all the work undertaken at this site and undertakes a re-assessment of the published interpretations of the bank system in the light of more recent research. Includes
208 - 212
David Grant
213 - 258
Paper on the re-location of Glasgow University to Gilmorehill, including a review of the building process from the appointment of architects through to completion.
Vanessa Habib
259 - 272
Article on evidence revealed from historical records that the production of Axminster carpets was established in Edinburgh and Fife during the mid-eighteenth century; includes a glossary.
Mark A Hall
Derek W Hall
Gordon T Cook
273 - 285
The results of recent Historic Scotland-sponsored radiocarbon dating of residues on Shelly Ware pottery from the earliest phases of the mid-1970s Perth High Street excavations are discussed. The dating suggests settlement activity in the late-tenth to early-eleventh century. The two key strands of the discussion are the exploration of early medieval Perth and its environs and the need to re-evaluate the earliest phasing of the Perth High Street excavation.
John G Harrison
287 - 307
Article on improvements made to the public road system of the Stirling area, which included new bridges, better road surfaces and probably some straightening and widening of the roads. An alphabetical appendix of the bridges recorded in the paper, giving further details of dating, work undertaken etc. is deposited with the National Monuments Record of Scotland and with Stirling Council Archives.
David Lawrence
309 - 318
Article on an example of Pictish anthropological art discovered in Orkney, incised on the surface of a cattle bone artefact that is interpreted as a gaming piece. The find is described and compared with related objects, with conclusions that may hold implications for the origins of hnefatafl and the meaning of some Pictish symbols.
Christopher Lowe
319 - 342
Archaeological fieldwork on the old garage site on Bridge Street, Kelso, has revealed the extensive and well-preserved remains of buildings associated with the Abbey precinct. A series of large, substantial structures lay immediately to the west of the site of the cloister's west range. Pottery from the site includes stratified examples of an early pink Gritty Ware, similar to that found in early levels at Jedburgh. A rare condiment dish, possibly thirteenth-century in date, was also found. Evidence of copper-based alloy working was also identified. Two principal phases of construction were identified, separated by a major reorganisation and landscaping of the site, in perhaps the late-thirteenth or early-fourteenth century. One of the later buildings is tentatively identified as the monastic granary. There are indications that this part of the precinct was possibly abandoned prior to the Dissolution in the late-sixteenth century. Forming part of the later glebe lands, the area was ultimately given over to gardens. Includes separately authored contributions on
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Alan Saville
343 - 369
Excavations in the 1920s at the Creag nan Uamh bone caves, near Inchnadamph, aroused considerable interest in the possibility of evidence for a Palaeolithic presence in north-west Scotland. Four objects found during those excavations, including the one on which the principal claim for a Palaeolithic date was based, are published here for the first time. The author contends that two are probable Viking Age/early medieval artefacts of unusual type, one is undated but is possibly also of the same period, and the fourth, while almost certainly of the Pleistocene age, is regarded as an unmodified natural object. It is argued that collectively these items serve to discount previous claims for Palaeolithic human presence. Radiocarbon dating of the human skeletal remains found, however, suggests the caves were a burial place in the Neolithic period. The paper makes extensive use of archive documentation to put the 1920s discoveries at Creag nan Uamh and their aftermath into historical context. Includes
368 - 369
transcription of a letter from James Cree to John Graham Callander
Tim Stevens
Melissa Melikian
Sarah Jane Grieve
371 - 393
Report on the excavation in 2002, in advance of construction work, of a cemetery at the Bu of Cairston. The site was situated on a headland known as Bu Point, 2km east of Stromness on the Orkney Mainland. A number of pre-cemetery features were identified at the site; these included a Neolithic gully with associated post-holes, a palaeochannel, a buried soil horizon and several rubble spreads. Excavations revealed a cemetery of thirteenth- to fourteenth-century date. A total of 109 inhumations, and a further fifteen probable graves, were recorded on the site. The dating and archaeological evidence for the cemetery suggests a Christian context. The burials were supine on an east-west alignment with no associated grave goods or markers. Six individuals were buried in cist-like structures and five were buried in wooden coffins. It is though that the original parish church of Stromness was located at the Bu of Cairston, before the parish church was moved to St Peter's in Outertown in the seventeenth century. It is probable that the cemetery excavated at Cairston was that associated with the parish church. Includes
383 - 390
Simon Stronach
395 - 422
Report of an excavation undertaken in the north of Abbey Yards Field, adjacent to Coldingham Priory, in the Scottish Borders. Three ditches crossed the area on the same alignment and one was wood-lined. Radiocarbon dating indicated that this boundary had been created in the seventh or early-eighth century AD. Several patches of midden were preserved within adjacent hollows in the subsoil. Finds were scarce but a similarly dated fragment of antler comb and an assemblage of pre-medieval animal bone were recovered from the fills and midden. Bede referred to an Urbs Coludi as the location of a monastery and nunnery presided over by St Æbbe in the mid-seventh century. The location of this foundation has been identified as Kirk Hill, situated on the coast to the north of Coldingham. The evidence is reviewed and it is concluded that Coldingham is as likely a location for the ecclesiastical site, with Kirk Hill a contemporary secular fort. There may have been some form of continuing settlement at the site, as suggested by later medieval historians, before the founding of a new church by Edgar King of Scots at the very end of the eleventh century. By the middle of the twelfth century this had developed into a priory dependent on Durham. The edge of the church graveyard was identified, with several industrial features immediately outside. A second late medieval phase of cemetery was also excavated. It is suggested that the edge of the graveyard was an area used to bury marginalised members of society, with ill health and disability commonly evident among the skeletons. Animal bone associated with the industrial features indicated that activities such as production of glue or tallow and tanning were undertaken in the vicinity. Includes separately authored contributions on
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George Thomson
423 - 442
A comprehensive and detailed survey was made of lettering on all accessible tombstone inscriptions in Dumfries and Galloway. Using statistical and other analytical techniques, a large amount of data was extracted. From this, comparisons were made with data from the author's previous study of inscriptional lettering throughout Scotland. The distributions of a number of letterform attributes were mapped, in some instances revealing clear geographical trends. The interesting subregional groupings in Dumfries and Galloway identified in the initial national survey were confirmed when the comprehensive data were used, though the distinctions were not so clear-cut. The rise of three more or less distinct area profiles identified using forty-two letterform attributes is likened to the development of a dialect or accent, not learned by imitation, but subconsciously acquired as a consequence of living in local divergent communities.
Richard Tipping
Eileen Tisdall
443 - 469
The landscape, environmental and land use changes before, during and after Antonine occupation are examined for the region of central Scotland between the Southern Uplands and the Grampian Highlands, principally from the published literature. The purpose is to synthesize and make available a range of new palaeoenvironmental data, to evaluate critically these new data-sets, to search for significant shifts in landscape or land use and to characterize their timings and effects, thus placing the Antonine occupation in a coherent landscape context. It is established that economic expansion in the region occurred in the Later Iron Age, demonstrably before Roman military occupation. This expansion developed from Bronze Age and Earlier Iron Age small-scale farms and gathered pace in the last 200--300 years cal BC, for crop growing as well as pasture, and was continued rather than intensified in the first two centuries cal AD. It is tentatively suggested that in the foothills of the Southern Uplands the Romans entered a landscape already decaying. Roman influence is perhaps recognisable at some localities in a reduction of cereal production and the expansion of grazed pasture, assumed to represent a restructuring of the native economy to support a new market. It is presumed that imports of foodstuffs continued to be important to Roman forces during Antonine occupation, although possible reconstructions of the sediments in the Forth and Clyde estuaries suggest that these may not have provided ideal harbours. There is little evidence that this increased pastoral economy imposed stresses on soils or plant communities, and the market seems to have been readily supplied within the agricultural capacity of the landscape. Nevertheless, the native economy was probably artificially buoyed by the Roman presence, and withdrawal eventually led to what is best described as an agricultural recession, not population collapse.
Ronan Toolis
471 - 504
Report on the archaeological excavation in 2002, in advance of housing development, of a roundhouse and associated palisades at West Acres, Newton Mearns. The excavation revealed a ring-groove roundhouse, bounded on the south by a curvilinear palisade trench and on the north by another two curvilinear palisade trenches, one that preceded the roundhouse and another that succeeded the roundhouse. It is proposed that these palisades represent evidence of stock management practices. Charcoal recovered from the roundhouse and the palisade features date this settlement to the second millennium BC. A considerable quantity of pottery sherds was recovered from within the roundhouse and supports a Bronze Age date for the occupation of the site. Separately authored reports include
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Ross Trench-Jellicoe
505 - 559
The article contends that the discovery in late 2001 of a small slab with a sophisticated and, in part, unique decorative programme near the eastern seabord of Fife, raises questions about the cultural affinities and dating of sculpture in Scotland. It is argued that analysis of the Kilduncan slab's carving suggests that the majority of its expected connections of form and ornament lie not with other monuments in eastern-central Scotland but rather in two seemingly mutually exclusive zones: sculpture in a North Sea province, stretching from the shores of the Moray Firth as far as the Northern Isles, Shetland demonstrating particularly strong affinities; and another yet further afield in an Irish Sea province where unique parallels occur, some only on metalwork. A primary milieu is proposed for the Kilduncan slab in a context of Scando-insular culture in Northern Scotland, probably on proto-episcopal estates in Moray linked with St Andrews but drawing on cultural affinities on occasion as distant as south-west Wales and southern Ireland, transmitted via western sea routes to a Christian culture in northern Scotland before redistribution southwards. Unexpected connections also occur with north-east England, implying St Andrews influence at work during Alban expansion southwards around the end of the first millennium AD.
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