Place and Memory: Excavations at the Pict's Knowe, Holywood and Holm Farm, Dumfries and Galloway, 1994-8 [Hardback]

Julian Thomas (Editor)

ISBN: 9781842172476 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Year of Publication: 2007 | Language: English 256p, H297 x W210 (mm) 182 b/w illus, 69 b/w pls, 8 col pls, 16 tabs

Place and Memory


This volume is concerned with the investigation of three complexes of prehistoric ceremonial monuments in the immediate environs of Dumfries in the south-west of Scotland, conducted between 1994 and 1998. These were the Pict's Knowe henge, the Holywood cursus complex, and the post alignments/cursus at Holm. The field research was designed in such a way as to recognise that prehistoric monuments often have complex and individual sequences of construction and use, while also acknowledging that detailed studies of particular sites and local contexts will ultimately advance our understanding of monumentality in prehistoric Europe. The three sites of the Pict's Knowe, Holywood and Holm have proved especially helpful in addressing questions of how particular places maintained their importance over long periods of time. In each instance the location was characterised by features which possess a high degree of archaeological visibility. In the former case it was the upstanding earthwork of the bank and ditch that identified the site as a henge monument, while Holywood and Holm were discovered through aerial photography. Each of the sites investigated had complex sequences of development, in which the structural elements that were recognised prior to fieldwork were not necessarily the most important or the most long-lived. This book considers the details of the excavated features, environmental and artefactual evidence, as well as more general concerns. The first part of the volume concentrates on the Pict's Knowe, while the second looks at the more spatially and typologically related sites of Holywood and Holm.

Table of Contents

Part One: The Pict's Knowe
Introduction (Julian Thomas)
The interaction of site and landscape around the Pict's Knowe (Richard Tipping, B Andrew Haggart and Paula Milburn)
Early Historic Land Uses At Pict's Knowe: Palynological Evidence From The West Cutting (Paula Milburn and Richard Tipping)
Structures revealed by excavation (Julian Thomas)
Geophysical survey (Kate Clark)
The Waterlogged Wood Assemblage from the Pict's Knowe (Anne Crone, Rob Sands and Theo Skinner)
The 'ard' (Grith Lerche)
The 'ard' spike (Rob Sands)
Soil phosphate analysis (John Crowther)
Soil thin sections (John Crowther)
Charred plant remains (Penny Johnson)
The Roman shoe sole (Carol van Driel-Murray)
Preserved leaves from the Pict's Knowe (Susan Ramsay and Jennifer Miller)
Prehistoric ceramics (Rick Peterson and Julia Roberts)
Struck flint and other lithics (Graeme Brown, Mike Roy and Diane Dixon)
Iron objects from the Pict's Knowe (Fraser Hunter)
Fired clay, vitrified material and slag from Pict's Knowe (Andrew Heald and Fraser Hunter)
The Pict's Knowe: discussion (Julian Thomas)
Part Two: Holywood and Holm Farm
Introduction (Julian Thomas)
The cursus monuments of south-west Scotland (Kenny Brophy)
The Holywood cursus complex, excavations (Julian Thomas)
Holm Farm, excavations (Julian Thomas and Matt Leivers)
Prehistoric ceramics (Rick Peterson and Julia Roberts)
Lithics (Gilbert Marshall)
Carbonised plant remains (Ciera Clarke)
Soil phosphate studies at Holywood (John Crowther)
Holywood and Holm: Discussion (Julian Thomas)
Part Three: Conclusion
Radiocarbon dates from the Pict's Knowe, Holywood and Holm (Patrick Ashmore)
The Dumfries monuments and the archaeology of place (Julian Thomas)

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