Newsletter – Issue 151, January 2005
Congratulations to Patrick Cave-Browne who was awarded the Dorothy Marshall Medal, a triennial award for voluntary work in archaeology.
Visit to Roxburgh Castle
EAFS will be visiting Roxburgh Castle starting at 2.00pm on Saturday, 19th February.
The next Shorewatch survey will take place on Tuesday, 1st March starting at 10.30am.
2005 got off to a good start with Andrea Smith on ‘Bone and Antler Working in Prehistory’ – next is Ian Ralston on ‘Hillforts in Scotland and beyond’ on Wednesday, 16th February.
Excavation at Penicuik
By the time this Newsletter is out we could be back at Penicuik. Weather conditions, hours of daylight, and not least the condition of the track we have to drive taking equipment to the foot of Castlehill, will govern precisely when we restart.
Before the undergrowth grows to any size we should ground resistance survey some of the NE slope of Castlehill to see whether there is any sign of an approach track on that side. Excavation will continue adjacent to the trench; we will probably extend the trench sideways to explore further the stone circle that seems to align with that on the Ainslie plan. As is so often dictated by Murphy’s Law we will have to move a section of last year’s spoil heap. Finally we must cut a section through the bank-ditch-bank at the SW end of the site, which does appear to have included an entrance to the flat hilltop area.
Geophysics at Cramond
In the three months since the last Newsletter the surveys have been completed and the report written and dispatched, by the end of 2004, to Historic Scotland.
The linear resistive array measurements, promised by Dr Bruce Hobbs, duly took place as a student project conducted by Greg Macdonald. Two magnetometry surveys were also made by Greg and the three techniques used helped to clarify what lies under the 9200 sq metres of parkland to the east of Cramond House.
The initial interpretation by Mike Middleton of Headland Archaeology of area resistance features on our printout suggested that those in line with the tree avenue probably related to a formal garden associated with the first (1680) Cramond House while those that crossed at an angle of about 40° were at right angles to the Roman road and represented part of the NE vicus. The two magnetometry surveys produced anomaly lines that largely aligned with those found in the area resistance survey.
Three linear array measurements, to a depth of about four metres, across a low resistance line that appeared on the area printout running along the edge of the old raised beach level, showed a cross section of a ditch. This cross section looks very similar to a measurement made two years ago to the west of the church where we knew that we had crossed the inner ditch of the fort. Was the vicus protected on its north side by a ditch on the edge of the raised beach? Only time (and permission from Historic Scotland to dig a trench or two in the Scheduled Monument Area) will tell.