Newsletter – Issue 141, January 2003
Pitt Rivers Award 2002
Following on the Stop Press announcement in the last Newsletter that we had been chosen to be one of the four finalists, members will be aware from our Annual Report that the Society was in fact the winner of the Pitt Rivers Award 2002 for the publication Fast Castle Excavations 1971-1986, by Keith L Mitchell, K Robin Murdoch and John Ward. At the British Archaeological Awards Presentation Ceremony at Liverpool Town Hall on 7th November last, in the presence of Lord Montagu of Beaulieu and the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Sir Neil Cossons of English Heritage presented the award (an inscribed stoneware plate, certificate and cheque) to Keith Mitchell and Hugh Dinwoodie on behalf of the Society. Denis Smith also attended in support. The publication was described in the citation as ‘academically valuable’ and in the literature handed out as ‘an excavation report of which the Society can be rightly proud. It will be a lasting contribution to Scottish archaeology.’
On Saturday, 15th February the Society will be fieldwalking the area surrounding the Iron/Bronze Age fort/settlement of Blackchester, 2 miles NNW of Lauder (map reference NT508504 and Feachem’s Guide to Prehistoric Scotland, p113 of 1992 reprint).
The Penicuik Project
Arrangements are progressing (hopefully) for a start in February/March for a survey within Castle Hill Plantation at Penicuik. The Royal Commission has no record of this site so nothing is known about its use or date. It is possible that it was the site of a motte and bailey and, if so, it could date from the early 13th century. The naturally defensible position and a ditch cut across the only possible approach certainly suggest something of this early date. After a topographic survey we will probably do some ground resistance measurement before some test pit excavations.