News  |  Posted December 15, 2017

SAIRs 73 & 74 now available

The Society is pleased to announce the publication of two new Scottish Archaeological Internet Reports, available now at the Archaeology Data Service.

SAIR was established in 2000 to publish freely accessible, fully peer-reviewed archaeological information. The most recent papers treat two historic excavations, at Achanduin Castle, Aryll (1970-5) and Cramond Roman Fort and Annexe, Edinburgh (1976-90). To read the abstracts and access the papers, please see the details below.

SAIR 73 Achanduin Castle, Lismore, Argyll: an account of the excavations by Dennis Turner, 1970-5

Excavations were undertaken at Achanduin Castle, Lismore, Argyll (NGR: NM 8043 3927), over six seasons from 1970 to 1975 under the direction of the late Dennis John Turner (1932–2013), henceforward referred to as DJT. Partly funded by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and with tools and equipment loaned by RCAHMS (now Historic Environment Scotland), the work was carried out in support of the RCAHMS’s programme of survey in the Lorn district of Argyll. Its purpose was to examine an apparently little-altered but much-ruined example of a castle of enclosure ascribable to a small but identifiably distinct group of rectangular, or near rectangular, courtyard castles. DJT concluded that it was built c 1295–1310 by the MacDougalls, and only later passed to the bishops of Argyll. The authors add their own observations on the excavations in a separate section. They note tenuous evidence for a pre-castle phase. The bulk of the report focuses on the erection and occupation of the castle, followed by abandonment, post-medieval occupation, collapse/demolition and recent times.

You may also be interested in reading a summary account of the excavations at Achanduin Castle, published in Proc Soc Antiq Scot 145 (Fellows only).

SAIR 74 Excavations and Interventions in and around Cramond Roman Fort and Annexe, 1976 to 1990

Cramond Roman Fort has been the focus of archaeological interest since the publication of John Wood’s history of the parish in the late 18th century, with a floruit of activity in the latter half of the 20th century. Playing an important part in this volume of work have been the excavations led by the late Mr Charlie Hoy (d 1991), an Edinburgh amateur archaeologist working principally with the Edinburgh Archaeological Field Society and latterly on his own. His excavations have recovered a wide range of evidence from the Mesolithic through the Roman and medieval periods up to the post-medieval development of Cramond House Estate. Hoy’s investigations have been hugely important to our understanding of the Roman fort’s associated annexe/extramural settlement, in particular providing new evidence for its origins in the Antonine period, and for Severan occupation, as well as uncovering a multi-phased road and associated wooden structures. In addition, the artefact assemblage further adds to the corpus from the site and includes an internationally significant sword pendant belonging to a beneficiarius (beneficiarii were troops on special service for the provincial governor) that demonstrates the presence of German troops at the fort, and perhaps hints at the presence of the emperor himself.

We hope you enjoy the latest collection of SAIR papers. Remember, all SAIR papers are published Open Access and are freely available to read at ADS! You can see the full list of previous publications here.

If you would like to submit a paper to SAIR please view our guidelines for authors, or contact the Managing Editor.