Newsletter – Issue 145, September 2003
A big THANK YOU to everyone who helped with the finds processing at the Cramond Campus. AOC Archaeology, who undertook a major excavation there in advance of a housing development, was most grateful to EAFS for taking on the task of pottery washing and bagging. We had our own portacabin to work in – luxury! Due to members’ support, we had teams of four working two days a week for five weeks, and another five people manned the display which was put on for the Open Day.
The excavation itself came up with some surprising results – but then we always did suspect that Cramond’s Roman occupation was something special. Three parallel defensive ditches were discovered some 300 metres to the east of the fort, and on a similar alignment to its east side. Sections of the road from the fort’s east gate were exposed and, where this passed through the ditches, there was found the footprint of a double gateway. Judging by the dressed stone blocks recovered from the ditches, this had been stone-built. The archaeologists’ interpretation of the excavation is eagerly awaited!
Members appreciated the opportunity to handle and learn about Roman pottery, and also felt privileged to watch the progress of the excavation. The last of the Campus buildings – the cottages opposite the portacabin – are now yet another pile of rubble.
Cobble Cottage field, Dalmeny Estate
Due to Dr Catriona Pickard (who was to be the supervisor of the dig) being unwell in September coupled with the very short time that the field would be available to us, the decision was taken to postpone the Mesolithic dig until 2004. Spring barley will be sown in the field and this is apparently harvested earlier in the year than the winter wheat, which has been the crop for the past two years. The time that the field will be available to us in 2004 should therefore be rather longer than the two weeks that was on offer this year.
Resistance Survey at Eddleston
The survey, reported as about to take place when the last Newsletter was published, duly took place on 2nd August with Peeblesshire Archaeological Society members assisting in the layout of 20 by 20 metre squares and in the resistance measurements. Four squares were measured, 1600 readings in all, over the cropmark. The printout was not the clearest ever produced probably due to shallow topsoil with bedrock no more than 0.5m below the surface; this was particularly noticeable on one corner square that dropped away down the slope. The circular cropmark that showed up in the aerial photograph is just about visible in the printout. Excavation by the Peeblesshire Archaeological Society is scheduled to start before the end of the year and we have been invited to join them.