Issue: Excavations on the Route of the Dalkeith Northern Bypass, 1994'“95 and 2006

Publication Type
Abstract An evaluation and subsequent targeted excavations were carried out along the route of the proposed A68 Dalkeith Northern Bypass by the Centre for Field Archaeology (CFA) between September 1994 and March 1995, with additional watching briefs taking place in 1997. The work was commissioned by Historic Scotland on behalf of the Roads Directorate of the Scottish Office Industry Department. The bypass was not constructed at the time, and further pre-construction mitigation work was recommended in 2005, with fieldwork being carried out in 2006-08 by CFA Archaeology Ltd, for Historic Scotland on behalf of Transport Scotland.<br /><br />This report describes the results of the evaluations and each excavation individually. The route traverses a narrow strip of the Lothian plain which contained several prehistoric sites (two ring-groove structures, a stone-paved area and two pit alignments), a Roman temporary camp, a post-medieval building, an 18th-century designed landscape, and two industrial sites (a brick and tile works and a coal pit engine house). Several sites also produced ephemeral remains of earlier or later date. Overall, the results indicated a settlement pattern and land use which concentrated on the sands and gravels of the river terraces, with far less settlement on the unforgiving compacted clays which otherwise characterise large parts of the road corridor.
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Author Kirsty Cameron
Michael Cressey
Andrew J Dunwell
Stuart Mitchell
Alastair Roy Rees
Richard Strachan
Ian Suddaby
Issue Editor Helen Bleck
Publisher Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
Other Person/Org Sue Anderson (Compiler)
Year of Publication 2010
Volume 44
ISBN 0 903903 55 4
Source DigitalBorn
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Abstract
1
An evaluation and subsequent targeted excavations were carried out along the route of the proposed A68 Dalkeith Northern Bypass by the Centre for Field Archaeology (CFA) between September 1994 and March 1995, with additional watching briefs taking place in 1997. The work was commissioned by Historic Scotland on behalf of the Roads Directorate of the Scottish Office Industry Department. The bypass was not constructed at the time, and further pre-construction mitigation work was recommended in 2005, with fieldwork being carried out in 2006-08 by CFA Archaeology Ltd, for Historic Scotland on behalf of Transport Scotland. This report describes the results of the evaluations and each excavation individually. The route traverses a narrow strip of the Lothian plain which contained several prehistoric sites (two ring-groove structures, a stone-paved area and two pit alignments), a Roman temporary camp, a post-medieval building, an 18th-century designed landscape, and two industrial sites (a brick and tile works and a coal pit engine house). Several sites also produced ephemeral remains of earlier or later date. Overall, the results indicated a settlement pattern and land use which concentrated on the sands and gravels of the river terraces, with far less settlement on the unforgiving compacted clays which otherwise characterise large parts of the road corridor.
2 - 5
This chapter presents information on location, topography and geology, along with a list of sites known or identified along the route and an outline of the archaeological strategy and how it evolved.
Richard Strachan
Alastair Roy Rees
Ian Suddaby
6 - 7
Evaluation in 1994 located two previously unknown sites (two ring-groove structures with associated negative features and an enigmatic area of rough paving) and confirmed the existence of a third thought to have been destroyed (remains of the engine house associated with Fuffet coal pit). In addition, numerous field drains were revealed. Further evaluation in 2005 and 2006 added little to the original results. Full details are held in the RCAHMS archive.
Kirsty Cameron
Stuart Mitchell
Melanie Johnson
Derek Alexander
Bill Finlayson
Robert McCulloch
Torben Bjarke Ballin
Sue Anderson
Michael Cressey
Clare Ellis
Andrew J Dunwell
8 - 28
The alignment at Castlesteads comprised nine large pits which are technically undated. A nearby cluster of seven pits or postholes produced radiocarbon dates in the Neolithic period. Two isolated pits, a stony spread and rig and furrow were also identified. Prehistoric pottery was recovered from three pits forming the cluster. A single Roman or medieval sherd was redeposited in the upper fill of one of the pits in the alignment. Chipped stone included a microlithic and a flint scraper. The much degraded pollen profile was suggestive of open pasture and an absence of arboreal vegetation. The Langside alignment comprised eight pits and it is suggested that construction began in the early Iron Age. There are specialist reports on lithics, a coarse stone grinder, miscellaneous redeposited finds, charcoal and soil micromorphology. The two sites are compared and the possible purpose of pit alignments is considered.
Melanie Johnson
15 - 17
Derek Alexander
17
Bill Finlayson
17
Robert McCulloch
18
Torben Bjarke Ballin
20 - 21
Adam Jackson
21
Clare Ellis
21 - 23
Michael Cressey
21
Sue Anderson
21
Andrew J Dunwell
23
Alastair Roy Rees
Melanie Johnson
Bill Finlayson
29 - 35
This chapter presents a detailed archaeological description of two ring-groove structures and a group of intercutting pits. Associated artefacts include a small assemblage of lithics, one sherd of prehistoric pottery and a whetstone. This type of structure is though to have a long life span commencing in the first quarter of the second millennium BC.
Bill Finlayson
33 - 34
Melanie Johnson
34
Alastair Roy Rees
Adam Jackson
Bill Finlayson
Torben Bjarke Ballin
Ciara M Clarke
36 - 40
A scatter of chert and flint flakes noted during fieldwalking led to the discovery of a stone-paved area. This was associated with a feature interpreted as a soakaway 'sink'. Artefacts include part of a saddle quern, a small perforated sandstone pebble and a small group of undiagnostic lithics. Samples taken for palynological analysis were found to be unsuitable. The small size of the artefact assemblage and the lack of any close parallels make interpretation extremely difficult.
Bill Finlayson
39
Ciara M Clarke
39 - 40
Adam Jackson
39
Andrew J Dunwell
Ian Suddaby
Felicity C Wild
Derek Alexander
Torben Bjarke Ballin
Bill Finlayson
Adam Jackson
Fraser Hunter
Sue Anderson
Michael Cressey
Ruth Pelling
Mhairi Hastie
41 - 46
Prior to investigation the camp had been recorded only as cropmarks on aerial photographs. The road corridor made a substantial transect through the camp available for study. Evidence of prehistoric, Roman, early historic, post-medieval and modern activity was recovered. A discussion of how the camp was interpreted prior to the work and the excavation strategy is followed by archaeological description of the western perimeter camp ditch, the eastern perimeter ditch, 'field ovens', other pits, a linear feature, cultivation furrows and land drains. A sherd of samian is the only artefact of definitive Roman date. There are specialist reports on the samian, prehistoric pottery, lithics, a sculptural fragment, a shale bangle, a decorated cast bronze fragment, wood charcoal and archaeobotanical remains. Six radiocarbon dates were obtained and these are discussed in some detail. The chapter concludes with a discussion of construction methods, date and associations of the Roman camp.
Felicity C Wild
54
Derek Alexander
54 - 56
Bill Finlayson
Torben Bjarke Ballin
56
Adam Jackson
57
Fraser Hunter
57 - 58
Fraser Hunter
58 - 59
Fraser Hunter
59
Ruth Pelling
Mhairi Hastie
59 - 60
Michael Cressey
59
Sue Anderson
59
Ian Suddaby
Melanie Johnson
Torben Bjarke Ballin
Fay Oliver
Sue Anderson
Adam Jackson
David H Caldwell
Jennifer Thoms
Mhairi Hastie
65 - 88
A small group of features, two of which were definitely prehistoric in date are described and discussed. Associated artefacts included a small assemblage of Neolithic lithics, prehistoric pottery, a boulder quern and two cobble tools. A small single-storey building of 18th century construction with two phases is thought to have been a worker's cottage of uncertain function. Several pits and postholes of comparable date were also excavated. There are specialist reports on pottery, ceramic building material, clay pipes, glass, gunflint, gunstone, metalwork and animal bone.
Melanie Johnson
70 - 72
Torben Bjarke Ballin
72 - 73
Adam Jackson
73
Adam Jackson
73
Mhairi Hastie
73 - 74
Fay Oliver
79 - 80
Sue Anderson
80 - 83
Sue Anderson
83 - 84
Sue Anderson
84
Sue Anderson
84 - 85
Sue Anderson
85
David H Caldwell
86
Jennifer Thoms
86 - 87
Torben Bjarke Ballin
86
Sue Anderson
87
Michael Cressey
Ian Suddaby
Stuart Mitchell
89 - 94
This chapter is concerned with the boundaries of Dalkeith Park formerly the formal gardens and grounds of the 18th-century Dalkeith House. Survey methodology and results are considered. Within the sections of wall examined by evaluation it was clear that there was uniformity in its design.
Michael Cressey
Richard Strachan
Ian Suddaby
Fay Oliver
95 - 107
The former estate brick and tile works at Smeaton and the engine house associated with Fuffet coal pit were archaeologically investigated. The features are described along with aims and methodology employed. There is a section on historical background and a summary of the associated artefacts.
Fay Oliver
95 - 98
Sue Anderson
Richard Strachan
108 - 111
The evidence produced by the evaluation illustrated survival of sites of differing periods to varying extents and revealed evidence of land-use from prehistory to the present day. There appeared to be a preference for early settlement on the sands and gravel terraces by the river Esk with much less settlements on the hard compact clays to the east. The results are discussed chronologically.
112
113 - 118
An evaluation and subsequent targeted excavations were carried out along the route of the proposed A68 Dalkeith Northern Bypass by the Centre for Field Archaeology (CFA) between September 1994 and March 1995, with additional watching briefs taking place in 1997. The work was commissioned by Historic Scotland on behalf of the Roads Directorate of the Scottish Office Industry Department. The bypass was not constructed at the time, and further pre-construction mitigation work was recommended in 2005, with fieldwork being carried out in 2006-08 by CFA Archaeology Ltd, for Historic Scotland on behalf of Transport Scotland. This report describes the results of the evaluations and each excavation individually. The route traverses a narrow strip of the Lothian plain which contained several prehistoric sites (two ring-groove structures, a stone-paved area and two pit alignments), a Roman temporary camp, a post-medieval building, an 18th-century designed landscape, and two industrial sites (a brick and tile works and a coal pit engine house). Several sites also produced ephemeral remains of earlier or later date. Overall, the results indicated a settlement pattern and land use which concentrated on the sands and gravels of the river terraces, with far less settlement on the unforgiving compacted clays which otherwise characterise large parts of the road corridor.