The Society is pleased to announce the publication of two new Scottish Archaeological Internet Reports, available now via the SAIR website.
This update is a West Lothian special, with both new papers revealing the results of excavations from West Lothian.
SAIR 81 reports on a medieval lead mining site on the slopes of Lead Law, West Linton. More than 1,100 finds were recovered from the site, including pottery, ‘the largest collection of medieval textiles outside Perth’, leather, bone, wood, rope, slag and ore.
SAIR 82 reports on the excavation of a double-ditched enclosure of uncertain date and function. The site adds to the growing body of evidence relating to late prehistoric palisaded and ditched enclosures in southern Scotland, and speculates on possible uses, other than domestic, for enclosures.
The Society gratefully acknowledges funding towards the publication of SAIR 81 from the Hunter Historical and Archaeological Trusts, and for SAIR 82 from Winchburgh Developments Ltd.
To read the abstracts and access the papers, please see the details below:
SAIR 81 Siller Holes, West Linton: a medieval lead mining site by Valerie E Dean with contributions by Carol Christiansen, Thea Gabra-Sanders, Anita Quye, Clare Thomas and Maureen Young
Lead ore (galena) had been extracted from the site of Siller Holes, West Linton, from medieval times if not earlier; there, according to tradition, silver was refined from the lead (Pb). Creation of a pond at the foot of Lead Law produced large quantities of textiles, leather and pottery which could be dated to the 12th to 14th centuries; lead, slag and ore were also recovered. As there is no documented reference to the site until the late 16th century, it has not yet been established who was exploiting the minerals.
SAIR 82 Excavation of a Double-Ditched Enclosure at Winchburgh, West Lothian by Gary Savory with contributions by Mike Cressey, Clare Ellis, Mhairi Hastie, Fraser Hunter and Jennifer Thoms
A sub-circular double-ditched enclosure, visible as a cropmark on aerial photographs, was excavated by CFA Archaeology Ltd in 2013. The enclosure had an inner ditch with two possible entrances and an intermittent outer ditch. The inner ditch measured up to 4.65m wide and survived to a maximum depth of 1.4m. Artefactual and ecofactual assemblages were limited, with the most significant finds being evidence of shale working. Soil micromorphological analysis indicates that both ditches silted up gradually, with their fills derived from re-deposited upcast as well as soil eroding from the surroundings. Radiocarbon dates from waterlogged wood and animal bone found within the ditch fills produced a date range of 1608–204 bc. The paucity of material makes it difficult to be certain of the date and function of the enclosure.
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