E. Osborne-Martin, ed., (2013). Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 143. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. https://doi.org/10.5284/1000184.

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Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 143
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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 Dec 2014
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Patrick Ottoway
1 - 8
The article reviews four fasicules relating to excavations in Perth High Street and describes them as a major event in the history of urban archaeology. Fasicule 1 deals with the excavations at 75-95 High Street and 5-10 Mill Street with three further volumes covering ceramics, metalwork and wood; textiles and leather; environmental remains and miscellaneous finds.
Rosie R Bishop
Mike J Church
Peter A Rowley-Conwy
9 - 72
Over the past few decades, the potential importance of plants within European Mesolithic economies has frequently been discussed, but there has been little systematic consideration of the archaeobotanical evidence for Mesolithic plant consumption in Scotland. This paper assesses the use of plants in the Scottish Mesolithic economy using the archaeobotanical evidence from 48 sites. It is argued that plants were systematically, and, in some cases, intensively, exploited in Mesolithic Scotland. Though plan remains were extremely sparse at most sites, it is suggested that uneven archaeological sampling and taphonomic factors, together with the relatively short duration of occupation of many sites, may be responsible for the restricted range and frequency of edible tax in most assemblages.
Alistair Robertson
Julie Lochrie
Scott Timpany
Laura Bailey
Abbey Mynett
Lisa-Marie Shillito
Catherine Smith
73 - 136
A programme of archaeological investigations undertaken in advance of the Forth Replacement Crossing, at Castlandhill on Rosyth and Echline Fields in South Queensferry, revealed archaeological features dating from the Mesolithic to medieval periods, including Neolithic Grooved Ware and Impressed Ware pottery dating to the 4th to 3rd millennium BC. The principal focus of this paper is the Mesolithic remains, which are of major significance for the study of Mesolithic habitation in Scotland; particularly given the finding of a sunken-floored structure at Echline Fields that has returned a date of approximately 8300 cal BC. It is the second such structure discovered in Scotland and also the earliest yet. The sites add to a growing group of Mesolithic settlements characterised by semi-permanence and value of place in a period that has often been more associated with high mobility and temporary camps. Lithic information from these sites further acknowledges the presence of narrow-blade technology in northern Britain during this pioneering period.
Christine Rennie
Susan Ramsey
Torben Bjarke Ballin
137 - 156
Excavations at Ravelrig Quarry, City of Edinburgh revealed activity from the Late Neolithic, and late Bronze Age, although the main phase of activity was the construction of a palisaded homestead during the early Iron Age. Inside an oval shaped palisade was a circular ring-groove roundhouse and a possible second circular structure comprising ditches and post-holes. The roundhouse contained a central hearth with associated post-holes, two large pits and features that appear to represent the early formation of a ring-ditch. This phase has been radiocarbon dated to 600-400 cal BC
Mike J Church
Claire Nesbitt
Simon M D Gilmour
Nienke van Doorn
Ann MacSween
Melanie Johnson
Torben Bjarke Ballin
Fraser Hunter
Dawn McLaren
Fiona McGibbon
Laura Hamlet
Louisa J Gidney
Emily Blake
157 - 226
This is the third of a series of four papers that present the excavations undertaken on the Uig peninsula, Isle of Lewis, as part of the Uig Landscape Project. We present the archaeological evidence from An Dunan, a causewayed tidal islet in the salt marsh of Uig sands, a liminal and potentially ritual site dating to the Iron Age and medieval period. The first main Middle Iron Age phase was characterised by activities centred on an ash mound, demarcated by four large orthostats, within an essentially rectilinear structure containing internal cellular divisions. The activities within the structure have been interpreted as non-domestic in nature. The second main phase involved the medieval re-use of aspects of the Iron Age building to create a small boat-shaped structure, with very little associated material culture. The structural, artefactual and environmental evidence from the site is presented, before being interpreted within the wider research context of the archaeology of the Western Isles and Atlantic Scotland.
J D Bateson
Nicholas M McQ Holmes
227 - 264
Coins and other numismatic finds from 219 locations across Scotland are listed and discussed. The catalogue and discussion cover coins and dating from the Roman period to the Act of Union of 1707 and include all casual and metal-detector finds which have been notified to either of the authors, as well as hoards found in isolation and a number of finds from archaeological excavations and watching briefs.
Lloyd R Laing
Edward Oakley
Anne E Sassin
Imogen Tompsett
265 - 302
Excavation and field survey at Ballachly, Dunbeath, Caithness in 2007-10 produced evidence which suggests the existence of a possible early medieval and later Norse site centred around the hillock known as Chapel Hill, on top of which is located an, as of yet, indeterminate unicameral stone building. The site, already known for its Early Christian inscribed stones, lay within a substantial stone-walled enclosure of late medieval to early post-medieval date possibly constructed to enclose an undeveloped burgh of barony, thought to be Magnusburgh, which was reported to have been licenced in 1624. Although most of the enclosed area did not yield evidence of occupation, two separate areas at the base of the hillock produced evidence for medieval industrial activity, including ironworking and a cobbled possible working surface. This activity post-dated a palaeo-channel, possible reused as a ditch, and substantial stone wall, forming a possible boundary enclosure, whose lower-lying area has since been heavily disturbed by flooding and subsequent agricultural activity. Evidence of the site's association with an early monastery was not substantiated, though the site's character still suggests a former centre of some importance.
Alastair Becket
Colleen E Batey
Paul R J Duffy
Jennifer J Miller
303 - 318
The rescue excavation of a Viking Age burial from an eroding sand dune at Cnoc nan Gall, near Machrins on the island of Colonsay, has provided further insights into a cemetery that has long been known to exist in this area. The burial comprised a middle-aged male with associated grave goods, including a Hiberno-Norse copper alloy ringed pin, and an Anglo-Saxon type strap-end, and also included small areas of organic preservation including cloth and botanical evidence. The artefacts and botanical evidence, along with a radiocarbon date obtained from a sample of the in-situ skeleton, suggest that the individual was buried in autumn or winter during the second half of the 10th century AD. Remains of either a stone setting, or cairn, along with the partial organic preservation in the grave, has also provided an insight into the burial customs employed. The grave may have been lined with grasses and the body wrapped in coarse linen cloth and placed on a birch bier or coffin.
Alastair J Macdonald
319 - 338
Despite their prominence in later medieval Scottish narratives, the themes of trickery and mockery in the way war is presented have been subjected to little academic scrutiny. The current paper suggests that such scrutiny yields important insights. It is argued that trickery is given unusual weight in narrative sources to highlight Scottish ingenuity in defeating their more powerful English enemies in war. This is in turn reflective of actual Scottish military behaviour in which ruses of various sorts were practised, arguably more readily than in many other martial cultures. While this should not be taken to indicate that there was any significant Scottish departure from accepted ethics of war, it does highlight an element of distinctiveness both to the practice of war by the Scots and their martial self-perception. Mockery is often frequently deployed in sources depicting the Scots at war against the English. Often the intention is to subvert bombastic aristocratic attitudes, depicted as being typical of the English martial elite. This ties in with a representation of the Scots fighting a war that featured wide communal involvement and an earthier material culture. Again this is reflective of real reliance on a broad social spread participating in war, as necessitated by the realities of the Anglo-Scottish struggle and its significant imbalance of wealth and resources. By the time Hary's Wallace was composed, in the 1470s, suggestive shifts had taken place in how trickery and mockery in war were represented. There is in this text far less privileging of trickery, indicating a greater self-confidence among the Scots as the threat of English conquest became less sharp. Mockery has also changed in character, no longer seeking to puncture English aristocratic pretensions and instead offering a more generalised, and more brutal, attempt to highlight the complete moral depravity of the old enemy.
Elizabeth Bonner
339 - 362
This article concerns the establishment in France of the Lennox-Stuarts/Stewarts of Darnley at the height of the Hundred Years War in the 1420s. In time, they were to become possibly the single most important family involved in the politics and diplomacy of the monarchies and government in the kingdoms of Scotland, France and England during the entire 15th and 16th centuries. This research also concerns a re-evaluation of the works of those 18th- and 19th-century antiquarians who have been the principal authors of this family's Histories, by verifying their interpretations of sources, in particular their manuscript sources in the archives and libraries of all three ancient kingdoms. This is in line with recent reviews of the works of antiquarians of all eras; but the works of the 18th-century antiquarians have been of particular interest. Thus, the history of this family has relied, up until now, entirely on the works of antiquarians which, due to general pejorative views of their publications, have suffered a seeming distrust by modern professional historians. Finally, recent research into the private Stuart archives at the Chateau de La Verrerie demonstrates the rationale and legal mechanisms by which Charles VII intervened in 1437 regarding the inheritance of Sir Alan Stewart of Darnley's seigneuries d'Aubigny et Concressault by his brother John. This document is important, as it set a precedence for later legal inheritance and transfer of the titles of the seigneuries in the family, and ultimately to transferring the lands and title to the Scottish Lennox-Stuarts/Stewarts and their descendents in the 16th century.
George Geddes
363 - 392
In the years following the Second World War, the British government made a number of changes aimed at improving our self-sufficiency, whether in foodstuffs, timber or energy. The combination of schemes of subsidy and improvements in technology brought with it an increasing threat to monuments that had survived by virtue of the fact that they were sited in marginal land. In response, the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) halted its national programme of County Inventories to undertake a rescue project that used newly available aerial photographs to identify threatened unrecorded prehistoric monuments, such as brochs, forts, palisaded settlements and earthworks. After eight years, the two archaeologists, with some help from other professionals and volunteers, had recorded more that 700 sites and prepared 190 measured surveys. While rescue was initially achieved through record, excavation and communication with the Ordnance Survey (OS), a small number are now protected by Scheduling. The results of the project went further, helping to underpin Stuart Piggott's development of a regional Iron Age synthesis in the 1960s. Now online for the first time, the information that was produced is the most detailed that exists for more than 90% of the sites, and, as with any documentary source, it is incumbent upon us to understand its strengths and weaknesses when we use it to understand, manage or protect the sites we care for and value.
393 - 420
421 - 433