East Lomond Hillfort in Context

Posted on August 14, 2019


This part of my series of posts on conference presentations, that I have filmed. This one is a one day conference:

Conference Info

To celebrate this summer’s successful excavations at East Lomond Hill an academic day-conference will be hosted by Falkland Stewardship Trust at Falkland Estate on 11th November. The event is organised by OJT Heritage, who oversaw the excavations under the direction of Dr. Oliver O’Grady, and will present a programme of talks by highly respected speakers and leading specialists in the hillforts of Britain and Ireland. This day-long symposium aims to explore the new findings from East Lomond in relation to other fascinating new research on elite upland settlements and fortifications of the Bronze Age, Roman Iron Age and Early Historic Periods from across the British Isles.

Cullykhan – A Coastal Promontory in NE Scotland

The promontory fort of Cullykhan was excavated between 1963 and 1972. This revealed evidence of a sequence of use of the promontory, with at least five prehistoric phases evident. These included a palisaded enclosure, timber gateway, metal working area, vitrified rampart and a possible Pictish phase. Continued use of the promontory extended into the medieval period and later, the results of which caused significant damage to some of the earlier features. This paper gives a brief overview of the prehistoric site of Cullykhan, as well as a very brief look at some other hillforts in NE Scotland, and raises some of the problems encountered while working on the publication of a site excavated in the 1960’s.

Moira Greig


Is that a fort on yonder hill?

Hillforts are a key monument in the Iron Age landscape, but their distribution varies in density and excavation has shown that they range widely in date. This paper will discuss the problems of defining forts that arise both nationally and locally, examining those identified in Fife as components of the local settlement record. It will also explore the wider contexts of fortification in this part of Scotland, drawing on the data assembled in the Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland, now published online at https://hillforts.arch.ox.ac.uk/.

Stratford Halliday


Reconsidering Roman Iron Age Fife

Fife has been poorly served by excavations, and the Iron Age is much less well-known than in its east-coast neighbours. Yet recent discoveries present some interesting hints of similarities and differences. This talk will review emerging trends in Roman Iron Age Fife, in the light of initial results from East Lomond Hill.

Fraser Hunter


Beyond the Bronze Age: Iron Age and Early Medieval Activity at Irish hillforts

Although there is little definitive evidence for hillfort construction in Ireland beyond the Late Bronze Age, some sites were re-occupied during the Iron Age and Early Medieval period, with societies marking them as important contemporary centres. Others gained mythological connections to other-worldly figures rooted in the ‘heroic past’. This talk will consider the archaeological impact of the Irish evidence, as well as discussing the broader terminological issues that have obstructed meaningful comparisons between similar sites in Ireland and Britain.

James O’Driscoll


The Romans and Ridgeway hillforts; Moel y Gaer Bodfari, Denbighshire, North Wales

The excavation of three nearby hillforts on the Oxfordshire Ridgeway, Uffington Castle, Segsbury Camp and Alfred’s Castle, has shown detailed evidence for their differing uses during the Iron Age but also major differences in the way they were utilised during the Romano-British period. This paper will explore these differences and try to explain why two of the sites show differing forms of continuity of use and the other seems to have been completely ignored.
Recent work at the small Welsh hillfort of Moel y Gaer Bodfari in the Clwydian hills will be briefly described including a range of geophysical techniques and LiDAR processing. Excavation has shown limited evidence for internal use of the site but detailed evidence for the construction and phasing of the stone built ramparts.

Gary Lock




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