Newsletter – Issue 140, September 2002
Our publication, Fast Castle Excavation, has been chosen as one of the finalists for the Pitt Rivers Award 2002. The winner(s) will be announced at the Presentation Ceremony at Liverpool Town Hall on Thursday, 7th November 2002.
Cramond Post Excavation
Much headway has been made with the cataloguing of the many finds, but there still remains a con-siderable quantity to be dealt with. We will again be working at the City Archaeology Department at Broughton Market during October. Once completed, the assemblage will be assessed to ascertain which categories of finds require which kind of specialist examination and report.
Edinburgh and East Lothian Archaeological Conference
The first conference, run jointly by Edinburgh and East Lothian at the Brunton Theatre on 7th September, was a considerable success in the quality of the archaeological papers presented and the number of attendees (at least 17 of whom were EAFS members).
1) Daer Reservoir
The trip to Tam Ward’s excavation on 11th August was a bit of a disaster in that the weather was appalling. Tam and his volunteers were hidden under an ingenious plastic shelter trowelling away at the foundations of a bastle house. They have made considerable progress with the building and, though it was relatively small, it had walls on the ground floor that were at least 1 metre thick. The cobbles on the floor were well preserved and a wall ran through it. This would fit in with the pattern of cattle being stalled below while the farmer and his family lived above. At the western end there was a rectangular stone extension to the building but the nature of this is still under investigation. Also of interest was a midden containing vast quantities of pottery from the Late Medieval and Post-Medieval periods. Judging from these the farmer must have had a considerable amount of wealth.
Another feature of interest was one of the ubiquitous burnt mounds. Their high prevalence there could be due to prehistoric practices in the area, or the enthusiasm, sharp sightedness and skill of Tam in spotting them. Also in the area was a cremation circle consisting of a circular ditch with stones filling the whole of the enclosure. The site of the cremation has not been identified yet.