Tayside And Fife Archaeological Journal

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Volume I (1995) Sorry, out of print.  See link to on-line (pdf) version, below.

Published November 1995, 86 pp. c.45 illus; ISSN 1360-5550. Design, layout and typesetting by Cruithne Press, Glasgow; printed and bound by Antony Rowe; published by the Tayside and Fife Archaeological Committee

Volume 1 is available as a pdf file here (requires Adobe Acrobat).


Anna Ritchie: ‘Meigle and lay patronage in the 9th and 10th centuries AD’;

abstract -- This paper looks at the history of the collection of early medieval carved stones at Meigle, Perthshire; the nature of the early enclosure around the grave yard; and the character of the architectural sculpture there.

John Sherriff: ‘Prehistoric rock-carving in Angus’;

abstract -- This paper provides a short history of the discovery of Neolithic rock carvings in Angus, a brief discussion on their dating; and there is a corpus of all the carvings recorded up to 1993.

Derek Hall: ‘Pre-Burghal St. Andrews’;

abstract -- This paper examines what was known about the early settlement of St Andrews up to 1994.

Charles Falconer: ‘Excavations at Marketgate/Ladybridge, Arbroath’;

abstract -- This paper details the results of a small-scale excavation in Arbroath, Angus.

James Mackenzie: ‘Excavations at the Star Garage, Montrose’;

abstract -- This paper details the results of a small-scale excavation in Montrose, Angus.

Derek Hall: ‘Excavations at St Nicholas Farm, St. Andrews, 1986-7’;

abstract -- This paper details the results of a excavation at a medieval leper hospital in St Andrews.

David Easton: ‘The survival of Industrial remains in Fife, from OS maps to survey’;

abstract -- This paper illustrates how both the use of early OS maps and documentary evidence can assist in the preparation of fieldwork, and in understanding the results of survey.


Volume II (1996) Sorry, out of print.  We are intending to make this available on-line shortly.

Published November 1996, 129 pp. c.71 illus; ISSN 1360-5550. Design, layout and typesetting by Cruithne Press, Glasgow; printed and bound by Antony Rowe; published by the Tayside and Fife Archaeological Committee


Gordon Ewart, David Stewart and Andrew Dunn: ‘Preston Island: archaeological research and excavations’

abstract--- A programme of archaeological research, excavation and monitoring was undertaken on the site of an early 19th century salt pan and coal-mine complex at Preston Island (NT 007 582), Torry Bay, Fife. One salt panhouse and associated forehouse were excavated, along with a freshwater cistern; elements of a sea wall and a second panhouse were also recorded during the restoration of the main building on the island.

Colin & Paula Martin: ‘Vernacular pottery manufacture in Cupar, Fife’;

abstract--- Two pits full of pottery wasters and kiln debris were discovered near Cupar railway station during road widening operations in 1995. The find is probably associated with the production of cheap earthenware, known to have been carried out in this vicinity at the brickworks operated by David Smith between 1830 and 1847. Vernacular traditions are evident in its manufacture, and it is suggested that the enterprise represents a paradigm of localised production which is essentially pre-industrial in character.

John Sherriff: ‘A medieval burial from Tangleha’, Kincardine’;

abstract--- In 1986, the remains of an inhumation, which had been revealed by coastal erosion at Tangleha’, near St Cyrus, Kincardineshire, was excavated. A pathological examination indicated that the well-preserved skeleton was that of a young adult male, and a radio-carbon assay of a bone sample from the skeleton revealed that the burial was of late 12th to early 14th century date.

Stephen Carter: ‘A radiocarbon dated pit alignment at North Straiton, near Leuchars, Fife’;

abstract--- An archaeological evaluation, involving cropmark transcription, geophysical survey, excavation and sampling, was carried out at North Straiton, near Leuchars, Fife, in 1993. An irregular alignment of pit type cropmarks had largely been destroyed by gravel extraction; one of the remaining pits was excavated and a radio-carbon date of 4360 ± 50 uncal BP was obtained. Both natural and human origins may be proposed for the pit alignment but there is no evidence from the evaluation that allows a convincing argument to be made in favour of either interpretation.

Adrian Cox: ‘Post-medieval dress accessories from recent urban excavations in Scotland’;

abstract --- A range of dress accessories found during recent urban excavations in Tayside, Fife, and elsewhere in Scotland is discussed in this paper. The artefacts are considered from both an archaeological and a socio-historical perspective.

Trevor Cowie, Mark Hall, Brendan O’Connor and Richard Tipping: ‘The Late Bronze Age hoard from Corrymucklock, near Amulree, Perthshire’:

abstract --- In May 1995, several items of Late Bronze Age metalwork were discovered by chance in the upcast peat from a drainage ditch at Corrymuckloch Farm, near Amulree, Perthshire. Almost certainly a disturbed hoard, the group comprises three socketed axeheads, portions of the blade of a leaf-shaped sword and an apparently unique handled vessel. Investigation of the findspot revealed no further archaeological deposits, but fieldwalking of the surrounding area of upland resulted in the discovery of previously unrecorded monuments.

Russel Coleman: ‘Excavations at the Abbot’s House, Dunfermline’;

abstract Excavation at the Abbot’s House, Dunfermline, Fife, revealed evidence indicating a long history of semi-industrial activity, probably metal-working, which continued through the medieval and post-medieval periods. The garden to the rear of the house had been established over the medieval abbey cemetery, which in turn had been laid over a series of possible workshops. After the cemetery had been deliberately sealed, the first substantial building was erected probably in the 15th century. Possibly constructed as the abbot’s lodgings, it became a private town-house soon after the reformation.

Fraser Hunter: ‘Recent Roman Iron Age metalwork finds from Fife and Tayside’;

abstract --- Nine recently-discovered objects of Roman Iron Age date from Fife and Tayside are discussed. To set them in context, Roman finds from Fife are reviewed, particularly those from Constantine’s Cave and Kinkell Cave and a probable burial from Merlsford. A final section puts the brooch finds in the broader Scottish context of native use of Roman brooches.

Derek Hall: ‘Scottish Medieval Pottery Industries’;

abstract --- The current state of research in Scottish Medieval pottery studies is summarised fabric by fabric. Suggestions for future study are made with the emphasis on the discovery and excavation of a native kiln site.


Volume III (1997) Price £3.00 + £3.00 p+p.

Published November 1997, 215pp. 7 colour plates, c.125 illus; ISSN 1360-5550. Design, layout and typesetting by Cruithne Press, Glasgow; printed and bound by Antony Rowe; published by the Tayside and Fife Archaeological Committee


Edwina Proudfoot: ‘Short cist burials from Fife’;

abstract --- The short cists reported here all reveal aspects of the Early Bronze Age and each is important within the range of similar sites in Fife and elsewhere. At Upper Kenly the cist contained a finely made, cord-decorated bowl Food Vessel, the Belliston cist contained a small lugged tripartite Food Vessel; at Dalgety Bay three cists were found to contain human remains. A young male in Cist 1 had survived an amputation; the burial in cist 2, with a quartz pebble floor, was accompanied by a bronze dagger, while in cist 3, covered by a small cairn, the burial had been placed on a bed of bracken and covered with meadowsweet flowers; a flint flake was found on the edge of a grave-pit.

Margaret Stewart & Gordon Barclay: ‘Excavations in burial and ceremonial sites of the Bronze Age in Tayside’

abstract --- The excavation of seven burial and ceremonial sites in Perthshire, originally investigated by the late MEC Stewart, is reported upon, together with associated finds of Beaker and Food Vessel pottery, and two disc-and-fusiform-bead jet/cannel coal necklaces.

John Sherriff: ‘An early Bronze Age metalworkers mould from Angus’;

abstract --- About 1975, what may be an Early bronze Age metalworker’s mould was found in a dry-stone dyke at Ledmore, near Brechin. The mould is unusually large and the first from NE Scotland found on the south side of the Grampians.

Brendan O’Connor & Trevor Cowie: ‘Bronze Age metalwork from Kinnoull, Perth’;

abstract --- Attention is drawn to two finds of Bronze Age metalwork from the Kinnoull area near Perth.

Philip Freeman: ‘Excavations at Craigie Hill, Fife, 1991’;

abstract --- This report summarises the results of the 1991 excavations by the Scottish Field School for Archaeology(SGSA) at Craigie Hill, otherwise known as Drumoig, in Fife. The report is divided into three parts. The first section is a summary of the background of the excavation. The second summarises the features uncovered and the finds recovered. The third offers an interpretation of that material and a consideration of its significance.

Stephen Driscoll: ‘A Pictish settlement in NE Fife: Excavations at Easter Kinnear’;

abstract --- Two excavations of cropmarks sites at Easter Kinnear, Kilmany, Fife, in 1989 and 1990, revealed settlements of Pictish date. Separate sequences of buildings were examined at each site, both of which included distinctive structures built over a scooped hollow. Radiocarbon samples obtained from the structure excavated in1989 date the construction to the mid-6th to the mid-7th centuries AD. the settlements are amongst the earliest peasant dwellings from medieval Scotland and as such make a significant contribution to our understanding of land-use from Pictish to medieval times.

Adrian Cox: ‘An archaeological excavation at Tolbooth Wynd, Anstruther’;

abstract ---An excavation by the Scottish Urban Archaeological Trust in advance of a sheltered housing development in the core of the burgh of Anstruther Easter revealed evidence of medieval activity in the vicinity and a complex sequence of post-medieval structural remains and deposits. This investigation, the first major archaeological project of its type in Anstruther, also produced important assemblages of pottery, artefacts and faunal remains.

James Mackenzie & Colm Moloney: ‘Medieval development and the cemetery of the Church of the Holy Trinity, Logies Lane, St Andrews’;

abstract --- The Scottish Urban Archaeological Trust (SUAT) carried out rescue excavations at Logies Lane and Church Square, St Andrews, Fife in 1991.A total of 121 inhumations were recovered from a cemetery associated with the church, dating from its inception in c 1410. Evidence relating to a phase of medieval burgh development pre-dating 1410 was also found sealed below the cemetery.

David Cowley: ‘Archaeological Landscapes in Strathbraan, Perthshire’;

abstract --- Survey by RCAHMS in Strathbraan has revealed complex archaeological landscapes, dating from the Bronze Age to the 19th century, surviving in windows of unafforested and unimproved ground. The landscapes are presented against an overview of the settlement and landuse history of the strath, and with reference to analogous material.

Russel Coleman & David Perry: ‘Moated Sites in Tayside and Fife’;

abstract --- This paper summarises the results of a study of moated sites in Tayside and Fife. Although essentially a management study, undertaken by the Scottish Urban Archaeological Trust (SUAT) for Historic Scotland in late 1996 and early 1997, the report also provided new data on this, one of the least studied classes of medieval site in Scotland. The recommendations addressed a range of management issues and put forward a strategy and research objectives for further work. This paper concentrates on the archaeological and historical background to moated sites.

Adrian Cox and Michael King: ‘Recent Medieval metalwork finds from East Fife’;

abstract --- This paper describes and discusses a number of recent finds of medieval metalwork from East Fife, a majority of which are now in the collections of East Fife Museum Service. Mostly discovered by metal detectorists in fields in the vicinity of medieval sites, the artefacts are discussed in relation to the geographical locations of the find spots, the historical background of which is also considered.

Stuart Farrell: ‘Robert Balding, mining engineer: a view of the early 19th century collieries of Fife’;

abstract --- For over 40 years Robert Bald (1776-1861) wrote and gave his opinions on the working practices of a few of the collieries in Fife. He saw the industry go through tremendous changes, particularly as a result of the changing economics of the market and the rise of industrialisation. His writings not only show us the condition of these mines but also the attitudes with which they went ‘hand in hand’’.

Graeme Heddle & Robert Morris: ‘Charles Hill gun battery’;

abstract --- This report is intended to introduce the subject of Fortified Fife in terms of coast defence, and the site chosen is the most modern example in the area of the mainland works built under the auspices of National Coastal Defence policy during the period 1856-1956. The individual batteries were never considered operationally as isolated defences but each formed part of a greater scheme operated as a fortress system. The report highlights the original layout, function and manning of the battery and presents for consideration those parts of the work which remain, in addition to identifying further sites that, taken as a whole, made the Forth one of the most heavily defended parts of the British Empire.


Volume IV (1998) Price £3.00 + £4.00 p+p.

Published November 1998, 326pp. 7 colour plates, c.150 illus; ISSN 1360-5550. Design, layout and typesetting by Cruithne Press, Glasgow; printed and bound by Redwood Books; published by the Tayside and Fife Archaeological Committee


Caroline Wickam-Jones & Magnar Dalland: ‘A small mesolithic site at Craighead Golf Course, Fife Ness, Fife’;

abstract --- Excavations at Craighead Golf Course, Fife Ness, revealed evidence of a small Mesolithic site comprising various pits associated with worked flint, including microliths. Radiocarbon dates placed the activity in the mid-9th millennium BP. It is thus one of the earliest sites, and the earliest evidence for settlement on the east coast. The site is interpreted as a short-term specialist campsite for the collection and processing of marine resources.

Magnar Dalland and Stephen Carter: ‘A prehistoric burial mound at Maryton Law, Montrose’;

abstract --- A substantial mound on Maryton Law, south of Montrose, was the subject of an archaeological evaluation to determine the impact of current disturbance, principally caused by rabbits. The site was found to be a prehistoric mound which had been extensively disturbed by earlier unrecorded excavations and other activities .

David Taylor, Jim Rideout, Chris Russell-White & Trevor Cowie: ‘ Prehistoric burials from Angus’; abstract --- This composite paper provides details of seventeen separate prehistoric burial sites. These include a series of cists and one urn burial investigated in the 1950s but never fully published. Also described is a hitherto unpublished grave group, including a Food Vessel and a jet spacer plate necklace and bracelet. Further, four cists, excavated by staff of Angus District Museums between 1986 and 1994 are described. Finally, the wider significance of this sizeable sample of prehistoric burials from the region is considered.

Gavin MacGregor: ‘Excavation on Bronze Age, Roman and medieval sites in Fife, 1995’;

abstract --- This paper presents the results of the excavation and subsequent post-excavation analysis of several archaeological sites by GUARD including a Bronze Age cemetery at Kirkton, early medieval activity and medieval settlement at Scotstarvit, and the Roman marching camp at Eden Wood.

Tim Neighbour: ‘Excavations on the Roman temporary camp at Longforgan, Dundee, 1994’;

abstract --- The results of excavation of a 63-acre Roman temporary camp are presented.

Thomas Rees: ‘Excavation at Culhawk Hill ring-ditch house, Kirriemuir, Angus’;

abstract --- The results of excavation of a ring-ditch house, dating to between the 4th century BC and the 2nd century AD, are presented. Traces of activity from the third millennium BC were also identified.

Derek Hall, Isabel Henderson and Simon Taylor: ‘A sculptured fragment from Pittensorn Farm, Gellyburn, Perthshire’;

abstract --- A fragment of early medieval sculpture found at Pittensorn Farm, Murthly, Perthshire, is assessed in terms of its artistic connections, its function and its landscape context.

Mark Hall: ‘A probable gaming board from Ormiston, Fife’;

abstract --- An incised stone found at Ormiston, Newburgh, Fife is interpreted here as a probable gaming board for the game of merrelles (or morris or mill), probably of the medieval period. It is set within a broader discussion of the game and the Ormiston landscape.

Mark Hall & DDR Owen: ‘A Tristram and Iseult mirror-case from Perth’;

abstract --- Questions of production, iconography, dating and consumption are discussed in relation to a newly recognised mirror-case in the collections of Perth Museum and Art Gallery.

Iain Fraser: ‘An additional medieval sculpture from Tealing, Angus’:

abstract --- This note draws attention to a medieval sculpture of Christ in Majesty, now incorporated in the kirkyard wall of the former parish church of Tealing, Angus.

Derek Hall: ‘The Scottish Medieval Pottery Industry: a pilot study’;

abstract --- The evidence of pottery production in medieval Scotland is assessed both from a documentary and fieldwork point of view. A case study of the Carse of Gowrie, Perthshire assesses the evidence for pottery production in that area. Several avenues for further research are recommended.

James R Mackenzie: ‘Excavations at Green’s Playhouse, Dundee’;

abstract --- An excavation by the Scottish Urban Archaeological Trust (SUAT) located important evidence regarding the medieval occupation of this part of Dundee. A tightly-dated group of medieval pottery was recovered, which included imports from France and the Rheinland. The survival of archaeological deposits on this site implies that more of Dundee’s archaeology may survive than had been previously expected.

John Lewis: ‘Excavations at Culross Palace & Bessie Bar Hall, Fife’;

abstract --- Excavations revealed that the courtyard of Culross Palace was not enclosed until the 19th century; although standing buildings on its west and north sides and the remains of others against its east wall date from the late 16th and early 17th centuries. In the 18th century the approach to the palace was paved with a well-constructed, kerbed path. Neither the date of the construction nor the function of the nearby Bessie Bar Hall could be confirmed.

Simon Taylor & Michael Henderson: ‘The medieval marches of Wester Kinnear, Kilmany Parish, Fife’; abstract --- This article examines in detail the complex medieval marches of the estate of Wester Kinnear, Kilmany parish, north-east Fife, providing a local historical framework for the mid-13th century grant of the estate to Balmerino Abbey by the de Kinnear family. It combines medieval documentation (including new editions and translations of five relevant charters, one hitherto unpublished) and place-name analysis with intimate knowledge of the local environment, and suggests that such an approach can yield much useful information about the medieval landscape.

Edwina Proudfoot: ‘St Andrews Cathedral Graveyard Survey’;

abstract --- The recording of the stones in the St Andrews Cathedral Graveyard and in the Cathedral Museum has taken many years, but the project has now been completed and paper records for more than 1750 stones have been checked and a site plan has been numbered for ease of reference. All records have been entered on a database for ease of access. The project has provided training for several generations of students, from a wide variety of academic backgrounds, many with an interest in the practical aspects of archaeology, but for whom there was no excavation outlet in St Andrews.

David Perry: ‘A new look at Old Arbroath’;

abstract --- Archaeological excavations and historical research in the historic town of Arbroath since the early 1980s have provided some insights into the origins and character of the medieval burgh, and demonstrated the continuing potential for survival of archaeological remains. Early burials (one prehistoric and three possibly early Christian) and structural remains of late medieval stone buildings have been found, as well as evidence of property boundaries, domestic occupation in the form of floors and pits, and cultivation of backlands. The nature of the pre-burghal settlement, the burgh’s development and economy, and the role of the abbey are all subjects for continuing research.

David Pollock: ‘Excavations in Arbroath in the early 1980’s’;

abstract --- A programme of limited excavations in the early 1980s has contributed to the deposit modelling process in medieval Arbroath. Preservation of deposits is sharply contrasted on either side of the Abbey precinct wall. Reasons for this are discussed.

Adrian Cox: ‘Grave consequences: a consideration of the artefact evidence from four post-medieval graveyard excavations’;

abstract --- Artefacts recovered during rescue excavations at four post-medieval graveyard sites are described , and their significance discussed, in this paper. Consideration is given to how the results from small-scale investigations such as these might be used to form inferences about social and psychological aspects of communities and to explore that they can tell us about customs, beliefs and social hierarchies.


Volume V (1999) Price £4.00 + £3.00 p+p.

Published November 1999, 202pp. 7 colour plates, c.83 illus; ISSN 1360-5550. Design, layout and typesetting by Cruithne Press, Glasgow; printed and bound by Redwood Books; published by the Tayside and Fife Archaeological Committee


Alan Saville: ‘A exceptional polished flint axe-head from Bolshan Hill, near Montrose, Angus’;

abstract --- The recent discovery near Montrose, Angus, of a polished flint axe-head of exceptional quality is described and comparisons discussed. The possibility of Neolithic importation from Denmark is considered.

John R Sherriff: ‘Five Neolithic carved stones from Angus’: abstract -- Five Neolithic carved stones, four of them recent discoveries and one a recent rediscovery, are described and illustrated.

Gordon J Barclay and Clive LN Ruggles: ‘On the frontier? Recumbent stone circles in Kincardineshire and Angus’; abstract: -- This paper considers the nature of a group of possible variant recumbent stone circles at the southern edge of the distribution, in Kincardineshire and Angus. The conclusion is that there is a variant group. The identification of some sites as RSC’s is challenged. Mention is made of regional differences between north-east Scotland on the one hand and Angus and the Mearns on the other in the earlier and later Neolithic.

John R Sherriff: ‘Ruthven souterrain, Angus’; abstract -- The excavation of a service-trench and the removal of a roofing stone from the west end of the souterrain at Ruthven Church, Angus, allowed a unique opportunity to record the interior of a souterrain that had not been previously entered for over 130 years. Examination of the remains made it clear that the surviving chamber, which incorporated a Neolithic cup-and-ringmarked stone in its roof, was but the best preserved part of a larger complex of passages and chambers that had been in-filled probably in the 19th century.

Bill Finlayson, Geraint Coles, Andrew Dunwell and Ian Ralston: ‘ The Angus and South Aberdeenshire Field School of the Department of Archaeology, University of Edinburgh - research design’; abstract -- This paper provides an account of the objectives and research aims of the Angus and South Aberdeenshire Field School of the Department of Archaeology, University of Edinburgh. These include: the management of cropmark archaeology, involving the investigation of the agricultural attrition of cropmark sites, scheduling practice, public archaeology, rabbit erosion and rescue; the study of settlement evidence and its patterning in the cropmark record; and environmental changes and their relationships to human activities. The importance of the project area is that it is representative of the archaeologically under-studied fertile sector of lowland Scotland.

Derek Alexander with Ian Ralston ‘Survey work on Turin Hill, Angus’

abstract --A survey of the complex suite of archaeological features on the summit of Turin Hill was undertaken and a plan produced. The features are interpreted as a bivallate hillfort with outworks, an oblong fort, three circular homesteads, possible house stances, and extensive millstone quarries. In the absence of excavation, the likely dates and functions of these remains are assessed in relation to comparable sites in Angus. The surface evidence for re-use of the site, one of the best upstanding examples of this in Angus, poses questions as to the particular significance of this hilltop location.

David Perry et al: ‘Excavations at 77-79 High Street, Arbroath’

abstract --Excavations in advance of a sheltered housing development on Arbroath High Street located evidence for a much wider street in the medieval period. The damaged remains of one possible medieval stone building were located. Evidence of the earliest occupation of the burgh was found in the form of a pit and a midden deposit dating to the late 12th and 13thcenturies, which underlay cobble surfaces of a formerly wider High Street. These street surfaces abutted a clay-bonded stone wall set some 2m back from the present street frontage. Remains of medieval metalworking were also found.

Derek Hall and Mike King et al: ‘Field survey and assessment at the former site of St Christopher’s Parish Church, Cupar’

abstract --Following some fieldwalking by the TAFAC Fieldwalking group, SUAT Ltd carried out an archaeological evaluation of the site of St Christopher’s Church, Cupar. Remains of the building and cemetery were located and the site was then scheduled as an Ancient Monument by Historic Scotland.

Jamie Hamilton and Roonin Toolis et al: ‘Further excavations at the site of a medieval leper hospital at St Nicholas Farm, St Andrews’

abstract --Excavations and a watching brief were undertaken in advance of a housing development adjacent to the site of a medieval leper hospital at St Nicholas Farm, St Andrews, Fife, Earlier excavations nearby had revealed some remains of what was believed to be a leper hospital, Further structural components of the medieval occupation of the area to the north and west of the earlier excavations and adjacent to the modified course of St Nicholas Burn were identified. Evidence suggests these correspond to the expansion of the site during a phase of structural reorganisation corresponding to the historically recorded transition of the site from leper hospital to poor house in the late 16th century. During a related watching brief, a much disturbed long-cist burial and associated pit were uncovered.

The late Margaret Stewart, John Atkinson, Gordon Barclay & Adrian Cox: ‘Excavations at Allt na Moine Buidhe and Allt Lochan nan Losgunn, Perthshire’

abstract --The excavation of two pre-improvement settlements is described. The finds assemblages are described and discussed.

Gavin MacGregor: ‘The excavation and analysis of a field dyke at Cragganester, Loch Tayside’ abstract --Upgrading of power-lines by Hydro-Electric Plc within the bounds of the scheduled ancient monument Gragganester, Tayside, led to a programme of archaeological work. This work was undertaken by Glasgow University Archaeological Research Division (GUARD), in order to avoid an adverse impact on archaeological deposits. The work included the demarcation of sensitive areas and the excavation of a portion of an enclosure dyke, an its subsequent reinstatement. This paper reports on the results of the programme of work and subsequent post-excavation analysis involving the use of soil micromorphological techniques.

Virginia Glenn: ‘Thirteenth-century seals - Tayside, Fife and the wider world’

abstract --Seal designs from Tayside and Fife demonstrate two phenomena, the influence of the bishops of St Andrews and the international links of the area along the North Sea.

Paula Martin: ‘An early-nineteenth-century racecourse stand at Uthrogle, near Cupar, Fife’ abstract --The remains of the stand associated with the early 19th century racecourse at Uthrogle, near Cupar, Fife, have been identified, its background researched and a survey and photographic record produced.


Volume VI (2000) Price £4.00 + £3.00 p+p.

Published November 2000, 238pp., c. 107 illus; ISSN 1360-5550. Design, layout and typesetting by Christina Unwin; printed and bound by Burns, Harris and Finday Ltd, Dundee; published by the Tayside and Fife Archaeological Committee


Gordon Barclay: ‘Croft Moraig Reconsidered’; abstract --- The recent discovery near Montrose, Angus, of a polished flint axe-head of exceptional quality is described and comparisons discussed. The possibility of Neolithic importation from Denmark is considered.

Kenneth Brophy: ‘Excavations at Milton of Rattray, Blairgowrie’; abstract ---Two short seasons of excavation were undertaken on a cropmark site called Milton of Rattray, near Blairgowrie, Perthshire. It was hoped to show that the parallel pair of pit-alignments there were part of the pit-defined cursus tradition in Scotland, and the excavation results are summarised in the first section. A wider discussion of pit-defined cursus sites in Tayside, placing Milton of Rattray in some kind of context, is covered in the second half of the paper.

Derek Alexander: ‘Investigation of a cropmark enclosure at West Mains, Lunan Bay, Angus’; abstract ---Trial trenching of a cropmark linear enclosure at West Mains, Angus (NO 6832 5081)was carried out in 1998 as part of the University of Edinburgh’s Angus and South Aberdeenshire Field School.The objectives were to determine the nature, extent and degree of preservation of the cropmark features. Excavation revealed that the enclosure ditch was close to the present surface where it showed on the aerial photograph, but elsewhere it was sealed below a layer of buried ploughsoil deposited in a natural depression probably by agricultural activity. This ploughsoil sealed an organic rich palaeosoil, which the ditch of the enclosure clearly cut through. A large pit, not apparent on the aerial photograph, was discovered immediately N of the enclosure. No dateable artefacts or materials suitable for radiocarbon dating were recovered from it, but its elongated form, depth, steep sides and flat base all suggest it could be the terminal of a souterrain with stone lining.

Colm J Moloney: ‘Excavations at 16 Wishart Avenue, Montrose’; abstract --- A rapid salvage excavation by Headland Archaeology on behalf of Historic Scotland identified the remains of a medieval cemetery at 16 Wishart Avenue, Montrose. The site was being developed as a residential garage when the archaeological remains were discovered unexpectedly. Documentary research has revealed that the most likely historic foundation which corresponds with the location and date of the cemetery is the medieval hospital of Montrose, which was reputedly founded by Alexander II as a leper hospital.

Mike Roy and Graeme Brown: ‘Excavations at 27-35 Panmure Street/72-78 Murraygate, Dundee’; abstract --- Prior to the redevelopment of the area, an excavation was carried out by SUAT Ltd at 27-35 Panmure Street/72-78 Murraygate, Dundee, in November and December 1998 (SUAT Site Code DD27). Three medieval burgage plots with frontages on the Murraygate were discovered. The remains of structures from the 12th to 15th centuries were found, as well as four distinct medieval levels in the Murraygate. Evidence of a timber structure was found, representing pre-burghal occupation of the Murraygate. Later stone buildings show the development of the area, and the survival of such early archaeology suggests that this area has great potential for the understanding of Dundee’s past. The project was funded by the developer, Scottish Mutual Portfolio Managers, and commissioned through the project architects, Douglas McConville Partnership.

Graeme Brown and Julie Roberts: ‘Excavations in the medieval cemetery of the city churches, Nethergate, Dundee’; abstract --- Excavations carried out by the Scottish Urban Archaeological Trust (SUAT) in 1992-93 and again in 1998 revealed the existence of a substantial cemetery arout the City Churches precinct in Dundee (NO 401 301). These excavations led to the recovery of around 200 inhumations and a substantial amount of disarticulated bone. A detailed osteological analysis of the skeletal remains has provided hitherto unavailable information on the demographic structure, health and nutritional status of medieval Dundonians. The discovery of a defensive ditch dug prior to the foundation of St Mary’s Church has afforded a small insight into the early settlement of Dundee.

Mike Roy and Charles Falconer: ‘Excavations at 110 High Street, Perth’; abstract --- Between February and April 1992, SUAT carried out an excavation at 103 High Street, Perth, funded by Abbey National. Excavation within the cellar of the existing property identified five phases of activity, from at least the 12th century to modern times, with traces of commercial and industrial activity as the market area of the High Street expanded westwards from the Market Cross. Evidence of stake and wattle buildings was uncovered on the northern frontage of the High Street, lying 3.5m back from the modern frontage, with wooden sills of a temporary booth encroaching onto the street. The High Street has apparently been narrowed by as much as 5m since medieval times. The street and floor surfaces had been had been raised from phase 2 onwards, perhaps due to the dangers of flooding, and the processes of repair and resurfacing. The area may have been used for horticulture rather than habitation during phase 4 (13th or 14th century), perhaps indicating economic decline.

Ray Cachart: ‘Excavations at 106-110 South Street, St Andrews’; abstract --- Excavation at South Street backlands identified two narrow burgage plots and their boundaries, with five phases of activity, sealed under modern rubble. In the eastern plot was a sequence of three medieval stone buildings or rooms, with a hearth and water channels, perhaps industrial. In the late medieval period, the rooms were converted into one large building, possibly a byre. The western plot was a garden until modern times.

David Bowler, David Perry & Mike Middleton: ‘Clearance and survey at Edzell Old Church, Angus’ abstract --- Clearance and survey for Angus Council showed that evidence for the missing nave may be preserved below ground, and also in parts of the surviving Lindsay Aisle. Documentary research shows that the church had a turbulent and eventful history.

Mark Hall, Katherine Forsyth, Isabel Henderson, Ian Scott, Ross Trench-Jellicoe and Angus Watson: ‘Of Making and Meanings: towards a cultural biography of the Crieff Burgh cross, Strathearn, Perthshire’. Abstract --- A project to conserve and display the Crieff Burgh Cross afforded the opportunity to re-assess this important cross-slab. It is an interdisciplinary with the origin and initial purpose of the cross-slab, almost certainly sited in Strowan, as the primary focus, but it also recognises that such monuments do not have a single identity nor a homogeneous, unchanging social context. Its name, the Crieff Burgh Cross, relates to the later phase of its life, following shifts in time, space and meaning (the cross-slab being moved from Strowan to Crieff). The aim is to elucidate the whole life story of the Crieff Burgh Cross by examining it in the light of the following contexts: art historical (Isabel Henderson with drawings by Ian Scott); The inscribed panel (Katherine Forsyth and Ross Trench-Jellicoe); and the broader landscape context (with the place-names discussed by Angus Watson and the geology, artefacts and sites by Mark Hall).

Anne Crone, Richard Fawcett and Mark Hall: ‘A group of Late Medieval carved wooden panels in Perth Museum and Art Gallery: Provenance and Date’. Abstract --- A group of wooden panels held in Perth Museum and Art Gallery are described and discussed. The panels have never been examined before and therefore it was decided to record them as fully as possible, investigating their possible provenance, dating them by dendrochronology and placing them in their art-historical context..

Coralie Mills: ‘Dendrochronology of oak timbers from historic buildings in St Andrews’; abstract --- Oak timbers from two buildings in St Andrews have been subjected to recent dendrochronological analysis, and provide interesting comparisons with earlier work undertaken at Queen Mary’s House, South Street, St Andrews. The most extensive study is for St John’s House, South Street, where a master chronology has been dated to AD 1072 to 1248. Sapwood on two timbers indicated that they were felled within the period AD 1249 to 1289. This is much older than the known date of St John’s House, and indicates re-use of timber from an earlier structure. The provenance of the timbers is discussed and recommendations made for further work.

John Sullivan: ‘Lead Seals of Russian Origin in Fife’; abstract --- Lead seals, although known from various European countries and usually referred to as ‘Russian flax bale seals’, have been little studied. They can, however, provide information on their town of origin, contents of the bales they sealed, and initials or names of owners and inspectors in Russia responsible for quality control. The article studies 233 seals found in Fife and provides a guide to their identification, sets out characteristics by which seals from different Russian towns can be recognised, and points out changes in their design from the late 18th to early 19th century.

Alex Darwood: ‘East Neuk Milestones’; abstract --- The survival of this important group of waymarkers is discussed and suggestions made for their continued protection.


Volume VII (2001) Price £5.00 + £3.00 p+p.

Published November 2001, 161pp. c. 69 illus; ISSN 1360-5550. Design, layout and typesetting by Christina Unwin; printed and bound by Burns, Harris & Findlay, Dundee; published by the Tayside and Fife Archaeological Committee


Trevor Cowie and Mark Hall: `Late Bronze Age metalwork from Scottish rivers: a rediscovered sword from the River Forth near Cambus, Clackmannanshire, in its wider context'

abstract: This paper draws attention to a previously unpublished 18th -century account of the discovery of a bronze sword and part of a human skull in the River Fo rth near Cambus in Clackmannanshire. It is proposed that a Late Bronze Age leaf-shaped sword in Perth Museum, long thought to have been found at Crieff, Perthshire, should be re-identified as the weapon from the River Forth. As such, it forms a significan t addition to the inventory of Late Bronze Age metalwork from the Forth Valley in particular and riverine contexts in Scotland in general.

Heather James: `Excavations at Kingsbarns, Fife, in 1997-8: an Iron Age short cist burial, prehistoric pits and a buried eighteenth century bridge within the designed landscape of Cambo'

abstract: Several prehistoric features, one of which contained a single grain of bread wheat which has been radiocarbon dated to the Bronze Age, an iron age short cist burial and an 18th -century bridge, buried during 19th -century agricultural improvements, were found during archaeological monitoring of a golf course construction at Kingsbarns in Fife.

Heather James and Paul Duffy: `Archaeological investigation on the Tarvit to Balmullo water pipeline route, Fife'

abstract: A late Bronze Age cremation pit, another pit, which contained Bronze Age pottery, but which yielded a Neolithic date, and several features relating to pre-modern agricultural activity were found during a watching brief.

Gordon Barclay: `The excavation of an early medieval enclosure at Upper Gothens, Meikleour, Perthshire'

abstract: An irregular cropmark enclosure was partly excavated. The enclosure was formed by a ditch (re-cut at least once) backed , or replaced, by one, possibly two, timber fences. The interior of the enclosure seems to have been divided in two by a series of palisades, intended perhaps to form an impressive entrance to an `inner citadel'. Smelting slag was recovered, as was a tinned iron buckle. Radiocarbon dates place activity on the site to around AD 885-1024 and to AD 1040-1259.

Colin Macleod and Ben Wilson: `Did a beaked whale inspire the "Pictish Beast"?'

abstract: This paper examines the possibility that a stranded Sowerby's beaked whale may have provided the inspiration for the `Pictish Beast' symbol on decorated stones of the Pictish period.

Colm Moloney and Louise Baker: `Evidence for the form and nature of a medieval burgage plot in St Andrews: An archaeological excavation on the site of the Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, St Andrews'

abstract: This paper details the excavation of a medieval burgage plot, evidence for its economic development being gained through the examination of the fills of a number of large rubbish pits. Considerable quantities of imported pottery and roof tile were recovered as well as significant assemblages of animal bone and macroplants. The excavation also yielded the first example of a Scottish medieval bow.

Stephen Carter: `A reassessment of the origin of the St Andrews "garden soil"

abstract: This paper examines the assumption behind the traditional interpretation of `garden soils' encountered in medieval urban excavations and proposes an alternative sediment formation model. The archaeological implications of the two competing models are assessed.

Christopher Lowe: `The distribution and survival of medieval and later deposits in the medieval burgh of Crail, Fife'

abstract: Recent work in Crail, Fife, has succeeded in identifying areas of well preserved archaeology below the surface of the modern streets. The distribution of this material is considered in relation to the background of previously recorded sites in the burgh. The morphology of the burgh and its expansion in the medieval period is considered and a new model for its development is proposed.

Timothy Holden, Howard Murray and Christopher Lowe: `The King's Mills, Crail'

abstract: This paper presents data from a watching brief and limited excavation at the King's Mills, Crail, Fife. The evidence suggests that most of the uncovered remains date to the 18th and 19th centuries, a period when the mill was converted from water to steam power. Documentary work revealed a 12th century origin for the King's Mills and relates some of the most important events that have shaped the history of the site right up to the early 20th century, when the building was demolished.

Ray Cachart and Adrian Cox: `Archaeological excavation at the White Church, Comrie'

abstract: This paper details a watching brief at the White Church, Comrie, which revealed some structural evidence and recovered disarticulated human remains from an earlier churchyard. Four articulated burials, together with artefactual evidence in the form of shroud pins, coffin fittings and coins, were recovered. A fragment of transom, probably from an earlier church, was found re-used in a dwarf wall for the floor of the White Church.

Stuart Farrell: `Fife gravestones: a personal view'

abstract: This paper is a short summary of the study of post-medieval gravestones in Fife, looking at past, present and future studies, in particular the history of the recording of the information that they contain.

Iain Fraser: `Three Perthshire Water Meadows: Strathallan, Glendevon and Bertha'

abstract: This paper makes a cursory survey of the use of water meadows as an agricultural technique in 18th century Tayside. It examines the introduction of English-style water meadows in the early 19th century, and their appearance in published literature, maps, and aerial photographs.

Volume VIII (2002) Price £5.00 + £3.00 p+p

Published November 2002, 211pp. c. 120 illus; numerous tables; ISSN 1360-5550. Design, layout and typesetting by Christina Unwin; printed and bound by Burns, Harris & Findlay, Dundee; Published by the Tayside and Fife Archaeological Committee


Gordon J Barclay and Caroline Wickham-Jones: ‘The investigation of some lithic scatters in Perthshire’

 Abstract: Five locations associated with scatters of flaked flint and other stone recovered by fieldwalking were excavated. Of these, only one scatter (Nethermuir) was certainly associated with contemporary dug features; material from a feature produced a calibrated radiocarbon range of 3370-3020 cal BC, broadly contemporary with the Cleaven Dyke and the Littleour structure, both of which lie nearby. The lithic assemblages from Upper Gothens and Nethermuir are described. The association of the scatters with water or boggy areas is noted, and a possible link with hunting or waterfowling is suggested.


Stuart Halliday: ‘Excavations at a Neolithic enclosure at Castle Menzies, Aberfeldy, Perthshire’

 Abstract: Excavations undertaken in 1999 at Castle Menzies, Aberfeldy, revealed part of a large enclosure of Neolithic date. Four radiocarbon dates from samples of oak charcoal give a calibrated age range of 4040 to 3660 BC for posts from the enclosure. Numerous other pits and post-holes were recorded within the excavated area but no coherent structures could be identified. Radiocarbon dates indicate that these other features range in date from the late Mesolithic to early Medieval periods. The Neolithic enclosure forms part of a group of superficially similar cropmarks at Castle Menzies and it is discussed in the context of other pit-/post-hole-defined enclosures and the increasingly diverse range of cursus-type monuments in Scotland.


Kirsty Cameron: ‘The excavation of Neolithic pits and Iron Age souterrains at Dubton Farm, Brechin, Angus’

 Abstract: Cropmarks of a possible prehistoric settlement were excavated in advance of development, and structures dating from the Neolithic to Iron Age were identified. Many of the more substantial structures were of early Neolithic date. At least six clusters of pits with charcoal-rich fills were recorded containing pottery and carbonised plant remains. Nine very large, deep and stratigraphically complex pits were identified cut into the gravel ridge, from which a considerable amount of Neolithic pottery was recovered. Four Iron Age souterrains were identified and fully excavated: two produced fragments of rotary quern and large quantities of charcoal and charred timber. All of the souterrains were small. They were cut into soft subsoil but retained a vertical-sided profile that suggests they had been timber-lined and rapidly backfilled. A number of adjacent features may represent above ground timber structures associated with the souterrains. 


Russel Coleman and Fraser Hunter: ‘The excavation of a souterrain at Shanzie Farm, Alyth, Perthshire’

 Abstract: This paper reports on the excavation of a souterrain discovered during ploughing at Shanzie Farm, near Alyth, Perthshire. An initial excavation established that the souterrain was in poor condition and no trace had survived of any associated settlement. A series of radiocarbon dates was obtained from material washed into the main chamber after it had been abandoned, indicating activity in the last centuries BC and the first centuries AD. A small but important assemblage of finds suggests that its use ceased before the mid second century AD. The findings do not readily fit a recently proposed model of the abandonment and deliberate backfilling of souterrains in the late second or early third century AD. Interestingly, the souterrain was also shown to have been temporarily re-used in the ninth or tenth century AD and was rediscovered on two or more occasions before it was found in 2000. After the excavation, the unstable parts of the structure were made safe and partly backfilled in such a way that the site remains visible today.


Archie Dick: ‘Trial excavation of a souterrain at Fletcherfield, Strathmore, Angus’

 Abstract: A small trial excavation in 1989 at a souterrain cropmark site at Fletcherfield, near Forfar, Angus, revealed the well-preserved stone walls and paving of the souterrain and its undisturbed stratified fill. A small niche was built into the basal course of its wall. On the surface adjacent to the souterrain the probable stance for a timber house containing stratified deposits, had been levelled into the ground.


Erika B Guttman: ‘Time and tide at East Wemyss: excavations on the foreshore 1980-1995’

 Abstract: The Wemyss Caves are of national importance due to the large number of Pictish symbols carved on the sandstone walls. The carvings have been extensively recorded and photographed, but until recently very little excavation had been undertaken on the deposits around the caves. The coast of Fife is now experiencing a considerable degree of erosion, and a series of limited excavations has been undertaken in order to record the deposits under threat. The excavations and specialist observations indicate that most of the deposits around the caves are derived from colluvium and rock fall from the clifftops. The artefacts are derived partly from activity on the shoreline, which may include activity within the caves. Some discrete deposits occur in the coastal stratigraphy, including two medieval burials. The problem of coastal erosion is discussed.


David Bowler: ‘Excavation and watching brief in Dunino churchyard, Fife’

 Abstract: Excavation and a watching brief in advance of a new vestry and toilet at Dunino church showed that James Gillespie Graham’s rebuild of 1826-7 re-used the foundations of the west wall of the previous church on the site. Earlier foundations were revealed, with traces of a fire. Fragmentary infant burials and charnel deposits were also found. The platform and family burial enclosures surrounding the present building may reflect the plan of an earlier phase of the church.


Derek W Hall: ‘Scottish White Gritty Ware from antiquarian excavations in Tentsmuir Forest, Fife’

 Abstract: A sizeable group of Scottish White Gritty Ware pottery from antiquarian excavations in Tentsmuir Forest is described and discussed. Recommendations are made for future research and protection of the area.


Michael Roy: ‘Excavation of the south-western bastion of Cromwell’s citadel on the South Inch, Perth’

 Abstract: Excavations on the site of Cromwell’s citadel in Perth were undertaken in response to the probable disturbance to the area by flood prevention work. Excavation revealed evidence relating to the construction and demolition of the south-western bastion, including variations in construction techniques that suggested the existence of several work teams. It was discovered that the moat was re-dug at least twice, probably first during the Jacobite occupation, and later following the demolition of the fortification in the 1780s. Evidence was also uncovered of more recent activity such as the deposition of midden material from the town into the moat and the laying of water pipes through the park.


Adrian Cox: ‘The archaeology of a walled garden at Kinross House’

 Abstract: An archaeological evaluation in 1994 of a derelict walled garden in the grounds of Kinross House revealed the nature and survival of several internal features, including a summerhouse, glasshouses, paths and stone settings. Subsequent archaeological recording, documentary and cartographic research has shed further light on its history and development.


Paula Martin: ‘Salt-water fish ponds in Fife’

 Abstract: A minor feature of early-19th century estate and spa development in Scotland was the construction of salt-water fish ponds, with varying degrees of success. The lessons learned helped inform the first designers of aquaria. The largest, most successful and one of two surviving examples is located just east of Culross. A much shorter-lived and less-successful example was built at Anstruther Wester.


Coralie M Mills: ‘The Granary, Elie Harbour, Fife: a contribution to the development of dendrochronology in Scotland’

 Abstract: Timbers from Elie Granary were analysed to discover more about the history of the building and for their potential to contribute to the development of dendrochronology for recent historic buildings in the British Isles. The analyses resulted in the construction of two oak chronologies and two pine chronologies, and of these, one is so far absolutely dated. A group of oak timbers proved to be North German in origin, felled between AD 1802 and 1818. This is a little later than the expected date for the granary, and indicates a previously unknown phase of harbour development, at a time for which there is  no other evidence of investment in the harbour facilities. The German oak from Elie provides the first example of dendro-dated and dendro-provenanced early modern oak in a Scottish building, and is also the first Scottish example of such late import of oak from Europe.   

Volume IX (2003) Price £6.00 + £3.00 p+p

Published November 2003, 139pp. c. 96 illus; ISSN 1360-5550. Design, layout and typesetting by Christina Unwin; printed and bound by Burns, Harris & Findlay, Dundee; Published by the Tayside and Fife Archaeological Committee


 Lisbeth M Thoms: ‘Nicholas Q Bogdan and David W Taylor an appreciation’

 Michael Cressey, Alastair Rees & Susan Dawson: ‘Radiocarbon determinations on marine shell from Inchture, Perth and Kinross’

 Abstract: Marine mollusc shells and diatoms recovered from the base of a test pit excavated near Inchture, Perth and Kinross, have provided useful paleaoenvironmental information concerning Post Glacial sea-level changes in the upper Firth of Tay. An uncalibrated age-range around 7000 BP was obtained on the marine shell. The dates fit well with an earlier model of sea-level change within the study area and confirm that later prehistoric sites are likely to be confined to the 10-15m contour, away from the carse clays and estuarine environment associated with the reclaimed floodplain.


Alex Hale: ‘Prehistoric rock carvings in Strath Tay’

 Abstract: The RCAHMS survey of Ben Lawers (2000) has revealed a much greater density of prehistoric carved rock than were previously known to exist in  the upper part of Strath Tay. The locations and distribution of the carved rocks are discussed in relation to natural landforms. It is suggested that the current distribution of the carved rocks should be considered in relation to the processes that have affected their survival, movement and destruction. The presence of so many prehistoric carved rocks in this area indicates that their distribution within the rest of the strath should be considered.


Catherine McGill: ‘The excavation of a palisaded enclosure and associated structures at Ironshill East, near Inverkeilor, Angus’

 Abstract: Trial excavations centred on a palisaded homestead at Ironshill, Angus, were carried out in 1998. A section of the palisaded enclosure, including a single entrance, part of the central post-built structure, several ring-groove structures and numerous pits, were investigated. The lack of stratigraphy across the site meant it was not possible to demonstrate the chronological relationships between these features. It is most likely that at least two principal phases of activity are represented – an unenclosed settlement of ring-groove houses and a subsequent palisaded homestead – spanning the later first millennium cal BC and early first millennium cal AD. Trial sections were excavated through a timber-lined souterrain and adjacent ring-groove houses located outside the enclosure. A Roman trumpet brooch was recovered from one of the souterrain fills.


RJ Strachan, JE Hamilton & AJ Dunwell: ‘Excavation of cropmark enclosures in Angus at Mains of Edzell, Edzell, and Hawkhill, Lunan

 Abstract: In 1998-99 the University of Edinburgh conducted sample excavations at two cropmark enclosures at Mains of Edzell and Hawkhill in Angus as part of the University’s Angus and South Aberdeenshire Field School. Both sites were investigated with specific archaeological and resource management objectives. Mains of Edzell has been established as a triple-ditched enclosure originating before 400 cal BC. Although few features survived inside the enclosing works, the available evidence tends to suggest that  this was a settlement site. The site is undergoing attrition from a range of sources, including ploughing, tree growth and burrowing animals. Hawkhill enclosure survives as a severely plough-truncated double-ditched enclosure. It remains undated, though a first millennium cal BC date is proposed on the basis of surviving morphological characteristics. The report considers the context of such small multi-ditched enclosures within the pre-Roman Iron Age settlement landscape of lowland Anguis.


Kirsty Cameron: ‘A new investigation at West Grange of Conan souterrain’

 Abstract: The souterrain at West Grange of Conan, excavated by Jervise in the 19th century was partly re-examined. Seven trenches were excavated, targeting the souterrain and the surrounding area: six produced evidence of anthropogenic features. No features produced any artefactual dating evidence, and provisional dates can be applied to features only on the basis of morphology. Features examined include the souterrain, a series of slots and traces of a possible structure. The ‘paving’ identified by Jervise was probably fractured bedrock. The graves noted by Jervise were not identified and are presumed to lie outwith the excavated areas, if plough disturbance has not now wholly removed any trace of them. There was considerable evidence across the site for plough damage of the surface of the subsoil and to a letter extent the archaeological features, suggesting that active truncation is occurring.


Simon Stronach: ‘Archaeological evidence for the evolution of medieval South Street, Perth’

 Abstract: The results of small-scale archaeological investigation of this site  suggested that the South Street frontage was first divided into properties during the 13th century; the street itself seems to have been a wide cobbled thoroughfare at this time. Early development included the construction of a sandstone building at the front of one of the plots, and it is suggested that these properties were of relatively high status in the medieval town. During the 14th century the property appears to have experienced a decline; the excavated building was abandoned and midden accumulated within it. Although the later deposits had been disturbed by modern development it was established that by the late 18th century the whole area had been developed.



Derek W Hall: ‘Medieval pottery from the Overgate, Dundee, and three vessels from the walls of a building on the Nethergate, Perth’

 Abstract: The collection of medieval pottery recorded as being retrieved from the redevelopment of the Overgate in Dundee is reassessed and discussed. Some comment and analysis is offered for three complete pottery vessels that were recovered from the walls of a building on the south side of the Nethergate.


Graeme Brown & Jonathan Miller: An archaeological investigation at Dunlappie Parish church, Edzell, Angus;

 Abstract: An archaeological investigation was undertaken in the churchyard of Dunlappie Parish Church, Edzell, by Headland Archaeology in advance of the redevelopment of Dunlappie Bridge. The investigation was designed to record any archaeological features or deposits threatened by redevelopment of the bridge. The remains of three fragmentary human burials were identified within the southern part of the churchyard. The churchyard itself was enclosed on several sides by a bank and ditch, and new findings suggest that a wall once existed atop the bank. Documentary research together with a new survey of the site has provided new evidence about the form of the church and established a more secure chronology for the use and subsequent abandonment of the building and its graveyard.


Iain Fraser: ‘Cortachy Sacrement House’

 Abstract: The Cortachy sacrement house is a remarkable piece of late medieval sculpture that demonstrates links with masons active in Melrose and Lincluden in  the early years of the 15th century, and may have inspired two other sacrement houses in the Dundee area. It is also a graphic example of the problem of stone decay and, conversely, of the value of pictorial archives.


John R Sherriff: ‘South Leckaway: an early 18th-century farmhouse in Kinnettles, Angus’

 Abstract: The survey of this derelict cottage at South Leckaway, Forfar, provided evidence of its origins as an early 18th-century farmhouse, its role as a 19th-century cottage and its later use as a workshop, garage and bothy. This article details the basic survey of the building, set against its historical background. It is intended that a multi-disciplinary approach to the recording of the building and its context further will include excavation, a more detailed look at the fabric of the structure, documentary research, and an examination of contemporary local buildings.


Alex Darwood & Andrew M Sherriff: ‘Apotropaic markings and spiritual middens in a house at 21 Shore Street, Anstruther, Fife’

  Abstract: Details are given of apotropaic markings and spiritual middens found in an old house in Anstruther, Fife. The apotropaic markings are carved into a beam above a fireplace and the middens were secreted below floor boards; in each case they were intended to ward off evil spirits, in particular witches.



Volume X (2004) Price £7.00 + £3.00 p+p

Published November 2004, 161pp. c. 69 illus; ISSN 1360-5550. Design, layout and typesetting by Christina Unwin; printed and bound by Burns, Harris & Findlay, Dundee; Published by the Tayside and Fife Archaeological Committee



Kenneth Brophy and Gordon J Barclay: A rectilinear timber structure and post-ring at Carsie Mains, Meikleour, Perthshire’.


Abstract --- The excavation of two cropmark sites revealed by aerial photography proved them to a rectilinear post setting and a timber ring. Radiocarbon dating placed both in the period around 3350—2910- cal BC. The only artefacts were burnt broken flints from a tree-hole. Post-holes of the two structures were dug through pre-existing tree-throw pits, and were themselves disturbed by later tree-throw pits.



John Lewis and John Terry: The excavation of an Early Bronze Age cemetery, Holly Road, Leven, Fife 2003’.


Abstract --- Excavations were undertaken in advance of the development of an area to the N of Leven where a cist burial was discovered in 1944. The recent investigations revealed an enclosed cist cemetery, radiocarbon-dated to the first two centuries of the second millennium BC. The cemetery appears to have had a short period of use when it received inhumation burials inside the ditched enclosure. A number of cists of poorer construction were uncovered outside the enclosure and a Neolithic cremation deposit was retrieved from within the ditch.



Brendan O’Connor: ‘The Early Bronze Age axe from Inchtuthil and its deposition’.


Abstract --- The purpose of this paper is to describe and illustrate, for the first time, the Early Bronze Age axe from Inchtuthil and to comment on the local and regional significance of its deposition.



David Strachan: ’A Late Bronze Age logboat from the Tay estuary at Carpow, Perth and Kinross’.


Abstract --- A partially buried logboat discovered at Carpow bank on the Tay estuary has produced a radiocarbon date of around 1,000 cal BC, and small-scale excavation has shown that it was c.9.25m in length and c.0.9m in width. While the exposed portion of the vessel is highly abraded, excavation has shown the buried stern to be in excellent condition, retaining its detachable transom board. The vessel has been sand-bagged for protection and is currently being monitored while the long-term preservation of the vessel is considered.



Colin Donaldson, Simon Allison and Mark A Hall: Vitrified Rocks from Dun Knock hillfort, Dunning, Perth and Kinross’.


Abstract --- Thirty-one vitrified stones collected from a field on the slopes of Dun Knock support previous suggestions that there are the remains of a vitrified fort on the hill.  This paper examines the nature and context of the vitrified samples.



Richard Connolly: Excavations at Abernethy Primary School, Abernethy’.


Abstract --- A programme of archaeological work in advance of the construction of a new primary school at Abernethy, Perth and Kinross, comprised the excavation of part of the site around two paved areas identified by an earlier evaluation, followed by a watching brief on topsoil stripping on the remainder of the site. The excavation revealed further paved surfaces – thought to represent an Iron Age stack yard – and a number of pits, including a fire-pit, which yielded a Neolithic radiocarbon date, and several more which probably also date to the Iron Age. A watching brief on the remainder of the site identified further pits of unknown date and a Dalladies 2 style souterrain, dated to the first – third century AD.



Alistair Rees:  ‘The excavation of prehistoric and medieval features at Inchture, Perth and Kinross’.


Abstract --- In September 2001 CFA Archaeology Ltd excavated a series of plough-truncated archaeological features discovered at Inchture, Perth and Kinross in advance of the construction of a new road interchange on the A90.  On the basis of the limited morphological, artefactual and radiocarbon dating evidence available, this palimpsest of features appears to represent episodic activity in the early Neolithic and Medieval periods, and less certainly at some point during later prehistory.  The most significant discovery is the fragmentary evidence for early Neolithic coastal farming settlement.  The results of excavation are considered within the dynamic Holocene landscape context of the Carse of Gowrie. 



Catherine McGill ‘Excavations of cropmarks at Newbarns, near Inverkeilor, Angus’.


Abstract --- Trial excavations were carried out 1998 and 1999 on a series of cropmarks at Newbarns, by Inverkeilor, Angus, as part of the University of Edinburgh’s Angus and South Aberdeenshire Field School, funded by Historic Scotland and the University of Edinburgh. The principal motive of these excavations was to compare the quality, quantity and range of archaeological remains in adjoining scheduled and unscheduled areas.  The excavations revealed plough-truncated remains relating to a range of domestic and funerary activities extending from at least the second millennium BC to the later first millennium AD.  Features sampled included Beaker-period pits, possibly associated with an enclosure; two possible Bronze Age barrows; an Iron Age working hollow; a ring-ditch house; a rectilinear enclosure, possibly a Pictish square barrow or Medieval farm enclosure; and an elongate rectilinear timber building of broadly 8th-10th century AD date.



Ray Cachart: ‘Salvage excavation and watching brief at Oathlaw and Tannadice Parish Church, Tannadice, Forfar, Angus’.


Abstract --- SUAT Ltd undertook an archaeological salvage excavation on the foundation trenches for a replacement vestry to be built against the west wall of the Oathlaw and Tannadice Parish Church at Tannadice.  Excavation revealed at least three phases of burials, the earliest being cist burials, and the remains of an earlier church, in the form of walls and some slab flooring. Shroud pins, a coin, medieval pottery sherds and coffin nails were also recovered.  A subsequent watching brief recorded the west wall of the earlier church, some paving and two shallow burials. 



John Lewis: ‘Excavations at Melgund Castle, Angus 1990-96’.


Abstract --- Clearance work at this 16th-century castle uncovered the remains of floor surfaces and other features within the tower house and adjacent hall range, together with the walls and flagged floor of an extension built against the N side of the range. Excavation within and beyond the barmekin revealed evidence of boundary walls and, to the immediate S of the castle, the remains of what is thought to have been a dovecot.



Anne Crone, Neil Grieve, Kevin Moore and David Perry: ‘Investigations into an early timber frame roof in Brechin, Angus ’.


Abstract --- The building at 67-74 High Street, Brechin, retains an intact timber frame roof which was constructed sometime before 1717. Dendrochronological analysis of the oak timbers and subsequent study of the redundant joints visible on many of the timbers revealed that an earlier roof, dated to about 1470 AD, had been dismantled and some of the timbers re-used in the present roof. Documentary sources were examined to elucidate the history of the building. 



Adrian Cox: ‘Three Perthshire ice houses: selected results of a desk-based assessment and programme of field investigation’.


Abstract --- This paper presents results of a desk-based assessment of the nature, level of recording and condition of surviving ice-houses in Perthshire and Fife, along with selected results of a programme of field investigations undertaken with a view to highlighting site management and conservation issues.  The results of investigations of three ice houses in Perthshire are described in detail, and discussed in the light of an overview of the historical background to ice house construction and use.



Adrian Cox: ‘Agricultural drainage exposed: observations recorded during a watching brief on the construction of a water pipeline in Angus’.


Abstract --- A watching brief on the construction of a water pipeline in Angus provided an opportunity to examine the evidence for the construction, use and replacement of a variety of types of agricultural drainage systems. This paper discusses the evidence against the background of changing economic circumstances and technologies, and illustrate the wide variation of systems employed, even within a limited geographical area.



Volume XI (2005) Price £8.00 + £3.00 p+p

Published November 2005. ISBN 1360-5550. 122pp. Design, layout and typesetting by Christina Unwin; printed and bound by Burns, Harris & Findlay, Dundee; Published by the Tayside and Fife Archaeological Committee


Ronald Baird ‘The Roman road at Woodlea, Greenloaning, Perthshire: excavations in 1997/8’.

Abstract: Excavations confirmed the possibility that a series of parallel banks and ditches within a strip of rough ground at Woodlea concealed remnants of the Roman road from Dunblane to Ardoch.


David Wooliscroft ‘A possible Roman road cutting at Innerpeffray Library, Perthshire’.

Abstract: The investigation of a deep artificial cutting at Innerpeffray Library, Perthshire, found a well preserved and long used road bed. The feature lies on the line of the Roman Gask Frontier road and it may well be of Roman date, although this could not be proven. Archive research suggests that it may have remained in use until the mid 19th century.


Chris Fyles, Julie Roberts and Derek Hall ‘Watching brief on environmental improvements around St John’s Kirk, Perth’.

Abstract: The monitoring of environmental improvements around St John’s Kirk in Perth allowed the first real opportunity to record the surviving below ground medieval fabric of the building. Information regarding the various restorations of the church was also discovered. A moderate skeletal assemblage was recovered and this is fully discussed.


Richard Fawcett and Derek Hall ‘The Perth Charterhouse’.

Abstract: This paper discusses the documentary evidence for the Carthusian monastery in Perth and considers the possible locations of the building based on recent fieldwork in the area.


Derek Hall and Simon Chenery ‘New evidence for early connections between Scotland and Denmark? The chemical analysis of medieval greyware pottery from Scotland’.

Abstract: This paper discusses the provenance of a greyware pottery fabric that has been recovered from excavations in Perth.The results of ICPMS analysis are detailed and the results are discussed with regard to comparative types of pottery from Denmark, East Anglia and the NE of England.


Anne Crone ‘A tale of three tuns: a 12th century French barrel from the High Street, Perth’.

Abstract: A barrel found during the excavations at the High Street, Perth, has been dated by dendrochronology. The barrel chronology correlates very strongly with chronologies from a barrel found at Ribe, Denmark, and with a barrel found at the Guildhall, London. Analysis indicates that this group of barrels was manufactured in northeastern France, sometime in the second half of the 12th century. Given the origin of the barrels, it seems most likely that they carried wine.


Mark Hall ‘A Renaissance carved figurative wooden panel from Bridgend, Perth’.

Abstract: A carved oak figurative panel found in Perth in 1925 and currently on display in Perth Museum is here dated to the second quarter of the 16th century, and assessed in terms of other Scottish late medieval/Renaissance figurative panels and in terms of its possible association with Perth’s medieval leper hospital in Bridgend.


Mark Hall ‘John of Stratherne and Alan Muschamp: two medieval men of Strathearn and their seal matrices’.

Abstract: Two copper alloy seal matrices found using metal-detectors and allocated via Treasure Trove to Perth Museum and Art Gallery are here assessed in terms of their hunting iconography and their documenting of identity and office in the lower/middle ranks of the Earldom of Strathearn.


Bruce Glendinning and David Perry ‘Archaeological excavation and recording at 16-18 and 22 Exchange Street, Dundee’.

Abstract: This paper describes the discovery of some sizeable unrecorded stone vaults close to the site of the former harbour in Dundee. Existing cartographic evidence is reviewed and suggestions made as to their date, form and function.


Adrian Cox and David Perry ‘Sculptured stones in Balgay Park, Dundee’.

Abstract: SUAT Ltd were commissioned to conduct an audit of sculptured stones that had been located in Balgay Park, Dundee. This paper describes their locations and suggests that some of them may originate from St Mary’s Church in the Nethergate.


David Bowler ‘ Survey of WWII remains at Findo Gask Airfield, Clathymore, Perth and Kinross’.

Abstract: Survey of the derelict Findo Gask Airfield for A & J Stephen (Builders) Ltd recorded extensive WWII buildings, including a large T2 hangar, an unusual 3-storey control tower modified while under construction, blast shelters, various huts, a pyrotechnics store, an electrical sub-station, a radio broadcasting house, various hard standings, and the perimeter track. Buildings were constructed in steel, colliery bricks from various Fife sources, and in cellular concrete, a wartime austerity material. Some buildings used metal windows to metric specifications. The station was used by various training, operational and maintenance units, and by Polish forces.



Volume XII (2006) Price £10.00 + £3.00 p+p

Published November 2006. ISBN 1360-5550. 125pp. Design, layout and typesetting by Christina Unwin; printed and bound by Farquhar and Sons Ltd, Perth; Published by the Tayside and Fife Archaeological Committee


Simon Stronach, Alison Sheridan and David Henderson ‘A bronze age cremation cemetery at North Straiton, Fife’.

Abstract: Excavation in advance of quarrying on a sand and gravel terrace at North Straiton, Fife, recorded a group of five Bronze Age cremation burials. All were disturbed but the best preserved was associated with a decorated pot in the Food Vessel tradition and an intact accessory vessel. Some 20m-25m away from the cremation pits was a row of postholes, one of which was associated with cremated bone and radiocarbon dating established that it was contemporary with the burials. The association of cremations with a row of posts finds a parallel within the results of excavations at Meldon Bridge, Peebleshire. The spatial organisation of the cemetery is discussed in relation to funerary practices. The site is placed in context with its position on the Straiton plateau, which is rich in cropmarks, and compared to other contemporary cemeteries in this part of Fife.


Sue Anderson and Alastair Roy Rees ‘The excavation of a large double-chambered souterrain at Ardownie Farm Cottages, Monifieth, Angus’.

Abstract: A large double-chambered souterrain was discovered during trial excavations beside the A92 at Ardownie, Monifieth, and was subsequently excavated in 2001. It was stone-lined with large orthostats, and a corbelled roof covered at least one of the chambers. The most unusual feature of the souterrain was a stone-lined channel which probably held a draw-bar to bolt the door shut. It is suggested that the structure was used as a store for household provisions on the basis of the remains collected from the material lying within the cracks of the paved floor. Scientific analyses of the sediments and palaeoenvironmental remains indicated that the chambers started to silt up naturally, suggesting a period of abandonment before final backfilling with occupation soil. A date-range from the 1st century BC to the 3rd century AD is provided by finds and radiocarbon dating, but the dates of construction and final use could not be determined with any accuracy. Later site use was evidenced by the presence of Early Historic hearth to the west of the souterrain.


David Cowley and David Strachan ‘Upper Glendevon: the archaeology of a reservoir’.

Abstract: In 2003 the water level of a reservoir in Perth and Kinross dropped significantly, exposing both known and previously unrecorded sites set in a landscape denuded of vegetation and topsoil. A partnership project was developed by Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland to record these sites and excavate those which were under threat of destruction as the reservoir refilled. The project provided an opportunity to reassess a curious earthwork at the head of the reservoir, which had previously been identified as a motte.


Nick Dixon and Matthew Shelley ‘Perthshire Crannog Survey 2004’.

Abstract: This paper outlines some preliminary results of the Perthshire Crannog Survey which is researching the area’s freshwater loch settlements. Much past research has emphasised the origins of Scotland’s abundant artificial and modified islands – normally called crannogs – and tends to see them in isolation from their natural counterparts. The result is that they are often considered in a largely prehistoric context rather than as a phenomenon which continued to be significant into the Late Medieval and Early Modern periods. This survey attempts to use historical and archaeological data to explore the possibilities for developing fuller biographies of crannogs and other occupied islets. The results tend to support this approach as they indicate a wide range of dates for when islands were in use and indicate more about their roles in later periods’.


Fraser Hunter ‘Recent finds from Strageath Roman fort’ 

Abstract: Recent finds from the Roman fort complex at Strageath are described, including cavalry harness fittings, a sword hilt guard of Piggott’s Group IV, and an unusual enamelled pin. Selected older finds are reviewed, with consideration of the influence of indigenous traditions on the material culture of the garrisons, the manufacturing activities taking place at the site, and the interpretation of a hoard of iron and lead objects. The lead ingot found in earlier excavations is re-interpreted as a product of southern Scotland, suggesting early Roman exploitation of the Leadhills/Wanlockhead sources.


Derek Hall ‘ ”Unto yone hospital at the tounis end”: the Scottish medieval hospital’ 

Abstract: Historic Scotland sponsored fieldwork between 1997 and 2000 on the Scottish Medieval hospital is discussed and its results considered. A full list of all the various types of hospital is given and suggestions are made for the protection and possibly excavation of this neglected monument type.


Adrian Cox ‘Archaeological building survey and excavation at Cottown Old Schoolhouse’ 

Abstract: A derelict, late 18th-century stone cottage immediately to the NW of Cottown Old Schoolhouse was recorded by measured survey and photography, and trenches were excavated in the W and central rooms of the building.  The results helped to illuminate the sequence of construction and alteration of the surviving buildings.  The project provided archaeological experience for several volunteers.


George Haggarty ‘A gazetteer and summary of recorded French pottery imported into Scotland c 1150 to c 1650: a ceramic contribution to Scotland’s economic history’

Abstract: Abstract summarised by title above; this paper is supported by a CD enclosed within the back cover of the volume.


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