by Ian Armit and Jo McKenzie
The 1970s excavations at Broxmouth represent one of the most comprehensive examinations of any Iron Age hillfort. It was also the place where a whole generation of Scottish archaeologists learned their trade. Like many projects of its time, however, Broxmouth remained unpublished, other than tantalising descriptions contained in various interim reports. This volume sets out the full results of the Broxmouth Project for the first time, tracking the long history of the site from initial settlement in the Early Iron Age to its abandonment during the period of Roman occupation.
Important findings include a series of remarkably well-preserved roundhouses with evidence for lengthy occupation, periodic rebuilding and the burial of votive deposits; a richly detailed picture of the evolution of the elaborate hillfort entrances; a remarkable artefactual assemblage including materials such as bone and antler that seldom survive in the region and the first use of steel in the British Isles; an exceptionally rare Iron Age cemetery; evidence for violent death and the taking of human trophies; and a rich faunal assemblage that allows us to reconstruct the economic basis of life at Broxmouth in unusual depth. Understanding of the long-term development of the site is made possible by the development of a new Bayesian chronology, allowing us to detect change at the scale of a human lifetime. What emerges is a richly detailed picture of life at Broxmouth as the site passed from one generation to the next across almost a millennium of continuous occupation.
The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland gratefully acknowledges funding towards the publication of this volume from Historic Scotland.