Newsletter – Issue 138, June 2002
Cramond Excavations (from Val Dean)
The end is in sight – of the fieldwork at least! The backfilling is almost complete, thanks to the many willing labourers. However, there is still a lot of work to do – the finds in particular will need to be assessed and reported on, which is likely to require the services of various specialists. A data structure report will be prepared in the interim, with a final report to follow. Several sessions have been held at Broughton Market to catalogue and box the finds, and more will be arranged in the near future. Finishing at Cramond is going to be quite a wrench, since the Society has been excavating in the area since 1975 – assisting at the Roman Bathhouse and associated excavations run by the City Archaeologist, working at Cramond Tower and Cramond House, investigating the Roman road in the woods to the east of the Fort, and checking in trenches dug for house foundations and services, etc. But, as building developments never stop here – and the Campus development has yet to start – who knows what the future may hold!
1) Trimontium, 8th June 2002 (from Bill MacLennan)
The members of the Trimontium Trust have arranged to take us on a tour round the historic environs of Melrose including the site of the Roman Fort and its recently discovered Amphitheatre.
The Trust has been running tours for many years and I can assure you that these are extremely enjoyable and interesting – made even better by the cup of tea and a bite to eat at the end of it. You will be starting at the Trust Museum so that you can visit this before or after the tour. I can highly recommend it.
The time and date are 1400 hours on Saturday, 8th June 2002, and we shall be meeting outside the Trimontium Trust Museum on Melrose Main Street.
2) SGIFA Geophysical Day, 14th June 2002 (from Dave Jones)
We have been invited by Tim Neighbour of C.F.A. Archaeology (but who in this case is acting for the Scottish Group, Institute of Field Archaeologists) to participate in a day of geophysical talks and discussions. The venue and the cost (if any) are not yet known.
For any member wanting a rapid introduction to the subject, with indications of when particular techniques will or will not prove useful, this could be a very useful day.
Both Tim and Bruce Hobbs, who have helped us at Lauriston and East Bonhard, figure among the speakers.
3) Torwood Castle and Torwood Broch, 13th July 2002 (from Bill MacLennan)
Geoff Bailey has agreed to meet us at Torwood to show us round the castle and to take us up to the nearby broch. We shall also have the chance of standing on the remains of the Roman road that runs past the castle.
Torwood castle is a 15th century tower house and is of particular interest because Geoff and the local archaeological society recently excavated the site. The broch looks nondescript from the outside but, viewed from the inside, there is skilfully executed stonework, an entrance with characteristic door fittings and intramural stairs and chambers.
The outing will be at 1400 hours on Saturday, 13th July 2002. We shall be meeting at the castle. To get there travel to Falkirk and leave it on the A9 heading north. Passing to the east of the site of the Roman Fort and to the west of Larbert you should go straight over the roundabout at North Broomage. About 2 km past the roundabout (having gone over the M876) you should turn left onto an undesignated road, turning left again after 1 km onto a poorly metalled track at the end of which should be the castle. There should be room for parking but please make sure not to block any of the drives to the recently built houses nearby.
3) Geoff Bailey needs you! (from Bill MacLennan)
Geoff Bailey will be starting a 2 week excavation of the Annexe to the Roman Fort near Falkirk on Saturday, 3rd August 2002. Given the amount of work involved he is in need of all the volunteers he can get. I do not have full details yet but if you are interested I should be happy to hear from you.
1) The United Services Museum at Edinburgh Castle, Thursday, 14th February 2002 (from Bill MacLennan)
The Military Museum at Edinburgh Castle has recently been redesigned and renovated, and redesignated as the United Services Museum. Members of our Society were particularly privileged to have a close look at the museum and to have a presentation from Mr Allan, the deputy director. The museum is not a dry collection of regimental silver and old uniforms. It covers a number of themes from the formation of Scottish regiments in the 17th century onwards, and gives a real feeling of the discomforts, dangers, satisfactions and comradeship engendered in soldiers of these far off days. I particularly liked the early photographs that presented soldiers as ordinary soldiers rather than some of the paintings of officers in more heroic studio poses. It is certain that many of us will be back to see what we missed last time.