E. Osborne-Martin, ed., (2011). Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 141. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. https://doi.org/10.5284/1000184.

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Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 141
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Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
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Erin Osborne-Martin
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Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
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17 Apr 2015
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George R Dalgleish
1 - 2
Samantha Welsh
Chris Knusel
Nigel D Melton
3 - 18
This paper presents the results of a re-analysis of the Early Neolithic human remains recovered in 1977 at Sumburgh, Shetland. The original publication of the site (Hedges & Parry 1980) proposed excarnation as the dominant mortuary rite. However, analysis of fracture morphology in combination with patination has demonstrated that the majority of damage to the bones is due to post-depositional disturbance. Evidence of palaeopathological conditions within the assemblage includes: degenerative joint disease, healed fractures, non-specific infection, periodontal disease, enamel hypoplasia and a nutritional disorder.
Alan Saville
Eric G Grant
M Graeme Cavers
Alan Braby
Eric Earl of Tankerville
19 - 29
A Scottish carved stone ball with unusual surface markings is described and analysed. Although undoubtedly an original prehistoric artefact, it is an unprovenanced find and there is no absolute certainty about the dating and character of its unique markings. Its enigmatic nature, with the possibility of anthropomorphic depiction, presents an interpretative challenge for archaeologists and art historians.
Claire Nesbitt
Mike J Church
Simon M D Gilmour
Louisa J Gidney
Emily Blake
Dawn McLaren
Torben Bjarke Ballin
Ann MacSween
Melanie Johnson
31 - 74
This is the first of four papers that present the results of survey and excavations undertaken in the late 1990s as part of the Uig Landscape Project on Lewis in the Western Isles (Na h-Eileanan Siar). This paper introduces the project and presents the results of the survey and excavations on the promontory enclosure of Gob Eirer, one of the earliest of the Uig sites excavated. Gob Eirer is located on a stack just off the Uig shoreline in the Camas Uig, connected to the mainland by a pebble beach. The results of the excavations are discussed in terms of the structural form, stratigraphy, material culture and environmental evidence from the site. Gob Eirer is then considered within the wider context of the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age archaeology of Atlantic Scotland and broader research themes surrounding promontory enclosures.
Jon C Henderson
Simon M D Gilmour
75 - 102
A detailed survey of the Atlantic roundhouse at Loch Glashan was carried out over two weeks in June 2003 alongside a small excavation to assess the extent of damage caused by encroaching vegetation and to obtain dating evidence. The structure is a large dry-stone circular building located above Loch Glashan, and the excavations produced architectural evidence suggesting more than one phase of occupation, alongside Iron Age artefacts and radiocarbon dates. These reinforce the argument that circular Iron Age structures in Argyll belong within the wider Atlantic milieu of brochs or Atlantic roundhouses dating to the second half of the 1st millennium cal BC.
Jon C Henderson
M Graeme Cavers
103 - 124
As part of the second phase of the South West Crannog Survey, the crannog in Loch Arthur, New Abbey, Dumfries and Galloway, was surveyed and small-scale excavations were carried out on submerged eroding deposits. The crannog was seen to be at threat from erosion for a number of reasons, including insect infestation, aquatic plants and wave action. The eroding deposits were sampled and their ecofactual content analysed and structural timbers from various positions in the crannog mound were radiocarbon dated. The results suggest that the site is a massive packwerk mound that was constructed in the second half of the 1st millennium BC, most likely in one event. After an apparent period of abandonment, the site was reoccupied in the later medieval period.
Anna Ritchie
125 - 143
The cemetery at Ackergill in Caithness has become the type site for Pictish platform cairns. A re-appraisal based on Society of Antiquaries of Scotland manuscripts, together with published sources, shows that, rather than comprising only the eight cairns and two long cists excavated by Edwards in the 1920s, the cemetery was more extensive. Close to Edward's site, Barry had already excavated two other circular cairns, three rectangular cairns and a long cist, and possibly another circular cairn was found between the two campaigns of excavation. Two of the cairns were re-used for subsequent burials and two cairns were unique in having corbelled chambers built at ground level. Other burial sites along the shore of Sinclair's Bay are also examined.
Brian Williams
Cormac McSparron
145 - 158
Much recent scholarship has been critical of the concept of a Dál Riatic migration to, or colonisation of, Argyll. Scepticism of the accuracy of the early medieval accounts of this population movement, arguing that these are late amendments to early sources, coupled with an apparent lack of archaeological evidence for such a migration have led to its rejection. It is argued here, however, that this rejection has been based on too narrow a reading of historical sources and that there are several early accounts which, while differing in detail, agree on one point of substance, that the origin of Scottish Dál Riata lies in Ireland. Also the use of archaeological evidence to suggest no migration to Argyll by the Dál Riata is flawed, misunderstanding the nature of early migrations and how they might be archaeologically identified, and it is proposed that there is actually quite a lot of evidence for migration to Argyll by the Dál Riata, in the form of settlement and artefactual evidence, but that it is to be found in Ireland through the mechanism of counterstream migration, rather than in Scotland.
Kelly A Kilpatrick
159 - 205
The axe-carrying bird-men and the remaining iconography of the cross-slab from Papil, West Burra, Shetland, are described and analysed. Special emphasis is placed on examining the Pail bird-men first with Irish and Pictish examples of the Temptation of St Antony and second with detailed descriptions of weapon-carrying bird-men and axe-carrying human figures in Pictish sculpture, concluding that the Papil bird-men belong with the latter. This motif is compared with descriptions of battlefield demons in early Irish literature, namely, Morrigan, Bodb and Macha. The Papil cross-slab is suggested to date to the early 9th century, based on technique and comparative iconographic evidence, and is thus contemporary with related Pictish examples. This motif is shown to represent a common ideal of mythological war-like creatures in Pictish tradition, paralleled by written descriptions of Irish battlefield demons, thus suggesting shared perceptions of similar mythological figures in the Insular world. A further connection between Ireland, Irish ecclesiastical foundations in the Hebrides, Shetland and southern Pictland is also discussed.
Murray Cook
207 - 229
The hillforts of the north-east of Scotland have suffered from a lack of archaeological excavation and models have been developed and redeveloped on very little evidence. Underlining these paradigms was the assumption that the bulk of the sites in the area were prehistoric in origin. This paper presents the initial results of a programme of keyhole excavation that examined construction dates of the discrete cluster of hillforts in what, in this article, is called Strathdon. A brief precis of archaeological research in the area will be presented, together with the unenclosed sequence from the immediate environs and the contemporary historical record, before the early medieval results of the research are summarised and placed in a regional and national context. As the excavations were restricted so too is the discussion, the results established a chronological framework for the hillforts in question but did not explore function or environmental background.
Alice Blackwell
231 - 248
This paper highlights a new aspect of the design and iconographical programme of the Hunterston brooch. Animals embedded in the form of the brooch terminals flank the cross panel, and are interpreted as a motif rooted in the Canticle of Habakkuk's assertion that Christ would be recognised between two living things. This Old Testament text was given wide meaning by early Christian thinkers, encompassing the central concept of the recognition, the 'knowing' of Christ and thus can be regarded as a fundamentally important subject for expression. Visual expressions of this theme are more prevalent than has been recognised, and occur in different variations across media. Objects that feature the motif include those on the Hunterston and 'Tara' brooches, do not feature figurative depictions of Christ. Instead '“ and in common with Pictish sculpture (but in contrast to Anglo-Saxon and Irish sculpture) '“ a symbol such as the cross or lozenge is used to represent Christ. It is suggested that the depiction of such a central Christian theme might lie behind the motivation to 'close the gap' between the terminals of the Hunterston and 'Tara' brooches. If so, this adaptation would provide a way to depict the motif which simultaneously maintained a visual link with the traditional brooch form whilst highlighting the 'new' Christian element precisely because it was what was added.
George R Haggarty
Derek W Hall
Richard Jones
249 - 267
The aim of this summary paper is to review the success of chemical sourcing in the study of the Scottish medieval Whiteware and Redware ceramic industries and outline the methods and protocols that the authors feel should be used to take the technique forward.
Richard Fawcett
269 - 278
It has long been known from surviving correspondence that the Italian gunfounder Archangelo Arcano prepared two drawings illustrating proposals for the fortification of Kelso Abbey, following its capture by the English army under the leadership of the earl of Hertford in 1545. It had been assumed those drawings had been lost. However, one of them has now been identified and is here published, together with a brief discussion of what it can tell us about the abbey in the mid-16th century.
Peter Spencer Davies
George R Dalgleish
David Lamb
279 - 292
The recent discovery of three pewter tappit hen measures from the excavation of a ship sunk off Mull in 1653 has enabled us to deduce something of the origins of this eponymous Scottish measure. They are of Scots pint, chopin and half-mutchkin capacity, and they display several hitherto unrecognised features. They were made by casting two vertical halves, unlike the familiar 18th-century forms. This left a hole in the base which was then filled with a plug. On the inside of this plug the pewterer struck a mark of a hammer and his initials, whilst his touchmark was struck on the collar of the measure. There was a coarse threaded projection on the underside of the lid, probably used to hold the lid in the lather for turning and finishing. The half-mutchkin has an unusual lobed palmette thumbpiece. The method of casting and the palmette thumbpiece has now also been observed on four early 18th-century examples. These are two chopin and two Scots quart tappit hens that have been identified in private collections, and described for the first time. The tappit hen form shows strong affinities with late 16th-century pewter vessels from the north-west of France, with whom Edinburgh had strong wine-trade links. However, the name appears to originate with Alan Ramsay c 1721, who used it in his poems to describe what was probably a quart with a knobbed lid and palmette thumbpiece, as in the examples described here.
Kate Newland
293 - 326
This paper presents the first comprehensive analysis of Panmure House, Angus as originally built for the earls of Panmure between 1666 and 1670. Although considered in its day as one of the finest houses in Scotland, Panmure has never been the subject of an individual study. An extensive collection of building accounts and contracts found in the Dalhousie Muniments, supplemented by William Adam's drawings have, however, afforded the opportunity to investigate in some detail how the building works for the earl of Panmure were organised and executed. Through careful examination of this evidence, a clearer understanding of the design and development of Panmure has emerged, revealing how such building works were organised, which craftsmen were employed, and what materials were required for its completion. In particular, the increasing use and significance of timber for building works in 17th-century Scotland can be recognised at Panmure, a development which can be directly linked to the emergence of Norway as the prime supplier of building timber to Scotland from the 16th century onwards.
327 - 349
351 - 362