Issue: Cramond Roman Fort

Subtitle evidence from excavations at Cramond Kirk Hall, 1998 and 2001
Publication Type
Abstract Excavation on the site of an extension to Cramond Kirk Hall has provided new evidence for the layout of the defences of the Roman fort, the route of the road immediately beyond it and for the phases of Roman military occupation at Cramond postulated by previous excavators. The features encountered included a broad right-angled ditch, possibly part of the outer defences, turning at this point to run parallel with the road into the fort. Three much slighter parallel ditches or gullies at the south end of the site are tentatively identified as drainage features beside the Roman road which, on this interpretation, would lie just beyond the limit of excavation. At a later date, the ditch had been allowed to silt up and features including pits and a stone box-drain were cut on a different alignment, through the fill of the earlier ditch; a well was also cut across two of the roadside ditches. These later features appear to represent encroachment of extramural settlement on the defences during the Severan occupation, at a time when a large defended annexe had been constructed to the east of the fort.
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Author Paul Masser
Editor Debra Barrie
Publisher Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
Other Person/Org Jeremy Evans (Author contributing)
Mhairi Hastie (Author contributing)
Fraser Hunter (Author contributing)
Year of Publication 2006
Volume 20
ISBN 0 903903 89 X
Source DigitalBorn
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Abstract
Jeremy Evans
0
Mhairi Hastie
0
Fraser Hunter
0
1
Excavation on the site of an extension to Cramond Kirk Hall has provided new evidence for the layout of the defences of the Roman fort, the route of the road immediately beyond it and for the phases of Roman military occupation at Cramond postulated by previous excavators. The features encountered included a broad right-angled ditch, possibly part of the outer defences, turning at this point to run parallel with the road into the fort. Three much slighter parallel ditches or gullies at the south end of the site are tentatively identified as drainage features beside the Roman road which, on this interpretation, would lie just beyond the limit of excavation. At a later date, the ditch had been allowed to silt up and features including pits and a stone box-drain were cut on a different alignment, through the fill of the earlier ditch; a well was also cut across two of the roadside ditches. These later features appear to represent encroachment of extramural settlement on the defences during the Severan occupation, at a time when a large defended annexe had been constructed to the east of the fort.
2
This section presents the circumstances behind the excavation and the methodology employed.
3 - 4
This section considers provides details of site location and a summary of previous work. Set in the context of the fort layout, the area excavated in 2001 lies outside the porta principalis dexter, just beyond the outer defensive ditch. In this location evidence for the road and extramural settlement activity is to be expected.
5 - 7
The archaeological description comprises features predating the fort defences, the defensive ditch, the road, disuse of the ditch and encroachment of the extra-mural settlement.
Jeremy Evans
8 - 10
Specialist report on a small assemblage comprising 145 sherds of pottery which includes samian and amphorae.
Fraser Hunter
11 - 14
Other finds include iron fittings and fastenings, tools and weapons, nails, hobnails and tacks, copper alloy helmet rivets and a finger ring, a lead bar and the base of a glass bottle.
Mhairi Hastie
15 - 16
The archaeobotanical evidence was restricted to charred plant remains as ground conditions on the site were not suitable for preservation of organic remains by waterlogging. The majority of samples contained low concentrations of carbonised cereal grains, weed seeds and charcoal. In addition, a number of samples contained the carbonised remains of legume seeds.
17
The most significant result of the excavation is the identification of a possible third defensive ditch outside the fort at Cramond. No evidence for a third ditch has been found in previous excavations, but neither have they provided any grounds for ruling out its existence.
18
19
Paul Masser
Excavation on the site of an extension to Cramond Kirk Hall has provided new evidence for the layout of the defences of the Roman fort, the route of the road immediately beyond it and for the phases of Roman military occupation at Cramond postulated by previous excavators. The features encountered included a broad right-angled ditch, possibly part of the outer defences, turning at this point to run parallel with the road into the fort. Three much slighter parallel ditches or gullies at the south end of the site are tentatively identified as drainage features beside the Roman road which, on this interpretation, would lie just beyond the limit of excavation. At a later date, the ditch had been allowed to silt up and features including pits and a stone box-drain were cut on a different alignment, through the fill of the earlier ditch; a well was also cut across two of the roadside ditches. These later features appear to represent encroachment of extramural settlement on the defences during the Severan occupation, at a time when a large defended annexe had been constructed to the east of the fort.