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“Celts and Romans on the Northern Frontier: a Later Prehistoric Landscape in Upper Eskdale, Dumfriesshire” by Roger Mercer

Professor Mercer presents the evidence from excavations and survey in Eskdale, south west Scotland, and the development of native society and its relationship with the nearby presence of Romans.

“Celts and Romans on the Northern Frontier: a Later Prehistoric Landscape in Upper Eskdale, Dumfriesshire” a lecture delivered by Professor Roger Mercer OBE HonFSA Scot, past President of the Society and Professorial Fellow at the University of Edinburgh.

The lecture, through the medium of the excavation of two sites (Castle O’er and Over Rig), traces the development of native Society in Eskdale and the likely impact upon it of the presence of the substantial garrison in the Carlisle area examining the economy upon which both Roman and native depended.

The full publication of these excavations is available on the Society online Shop webpages.

Roger Mercer first came to Edinburgh in 1963 to study European prehistory. In 1969 he started work as an Inspector of Ancient Monuments with the Department of the Environment. He returned to Edinburgh University in 1974 as a lecturer in European prehistory, was promoted Reader in 1982 and Head of Department 1983-88. In 1990 he became Chief Executive of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. He retired in 2004. His specialism is the Neolithic and Bronze Age of North and Western Europe. He has conducted a series of excavations on seminal Neolithic sites in Britain, including, most locally, Balfarg in Fife. Other excavations included Bronze Age and Iron Age sites in Scotland and England. He was also active in archaeological field survey, which he carried out in Caithness, Roxburghshire, Dumfriesshire and on Dartmoor. He was appointed OBE in 2005 and holds Honorary Professorships in the Universities of Durham and Edinburgh. He retired in 2004 and since then has served as President of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (2008), as a Trustee of the Discovery Programme Ireland, a judge in the British Archaeological Awards competition and continues to write on issues related to prehistoric warfare.

This lecture was recorded by Mallard Productions for the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland at the National Museums Scotland at 6pm on 15 October 2018. With thanks to Society Fellow Sir Angus Grossart QC OBE DL LLD DLitt FRSE FSA Scot for generously supporting the filming of the Society’s 2017-18 lecture programme.