Newsletter – Issue 155, October 2005
Callendar House, Finds from Recent Excavations
In recent years a number of us have been helping or hindering Geoff Bailey, Keeper of Archaeology and History for Falkirk in the excavation of a number of interesting sites in and around Falkirk. We felt it would be useful if he could display and discuss some of the artefacts found on these sites and on several field walking enterprises. He has kindly agreed to do so. The session will take place at Callendar House, Falkirk at 2.30pm on Thursday, 17th November.
Winter is upon us and our first lecture by Biddy Simpson on Archaeology and the Community – The East Lothian Approach on Wednesday, 19th October may have been and gone before you get this. The next lecture is on Tuesday, 15th November when John Gooder of AOC will be talking on the Cramond Campus Excavations.
Excavation at Castlehill, Penicuik
Little to add to what was reported in the last Newsletter, which was published at the end of the dig season. On 3rd August we showed the site and the finds to Dr Stephen Carter. He confirmed that the finds looked Iron Age and that the apparently defensive bank and ditch at the SW end would give credence to a promontory fort. With regard to the surrounding stone ‘revetment’, he suggested we try to find estate records other than that of Ainslie in 1795. Perhaps the stone revetment was round the trees on Castlehill Plantation and thus post dates the Iron Age finds by 1700 years.
Having resistance surveyed two further 20 by 20m squares on the slope of the hill towards Cornton earlier this year, all that was found was an angled low resistance line that appears to be a robbed out wall shown on the O.S. map and the Ainslie plan. The Ainslie plan however shows the circle, assumed to be the castle, touching or slightly intersecting the angled wall line. This puts the ‘castle’ circle edge well down the slope in a distinctly non-defensive position. Is this a pointer to the stone circle and the castle being unrelated? Having said that, the south side of the stone revetment, which is on the edge of Trench 2, seems to form a context on the same level as the two paved areas and the two Iron Age finds.
In addition to the sectioning of the bank and ditch in the 2006 season we have to try and clarify our interpretation of the site – not easy!