25th Anniversary Conference

The Archaeology of Tweeddale

Exploring the Past with the Peeblesshire Archaeological Society

edston denariiThis year marks the 25th anniversary of the formation of the Society. To celebrate this milestone, we are holding a one-day public conference devoted to The Archaeology of Tweeddale. In a series of short papers, invited speakers – all experts in their fields - will explore various aspects of Peeblesshire’s archaeology from the earliest human settlement of the region to medieval times.

To download a booking form, please click here.

The event will be held on Saturday 19 October at the MacFarlane Hall in Peebles. Current chairman Trevor Cowie will set the scene with a brief review of the past and present activities of the Society, before handing over to our first guest speaker, palaeoecologist and geoarchaeologist Dr Richard Tipping (recently retired from Stirling University). In his paper on the changing landscapes and environments of Tweeddale and the Southern Uplands, Richard will evaluate just how much of our ‘scenery’ can be traced to human agency in prehistory and history, from the end of the last ice age to recent centuries. Professor Graeme Warren (University College Dublin) will then talk about the evidence for the early settlement of Tweeddale by groups of hunter-gatherers after the end of the last Ice Age. As Graeme will explain, our understanding of period has been significantly enhanced by fieldwork undertaken by or in co-operation with local groups such as ours.

After a coffee break, we will be hearing from Dr Alison Sheridan (National Museums Scotland), whose presentation will cover the time from the first appearance of farmers in Tweeddale around 3900 BC to the time, nearly 1500 years later, when metal-using was well established and when farming society had undergone a variety of significant changes. Taking us up to the lunch break, Strat Halliday (formerly of RCAHMS & Edinburgh University) will then be exploring aspects of the region’s rich later prehistoric settlement record, drawing on the evidence of key local sites such as the impressive forts on Cademuir.

The afternoon session will commence with a presentation by Dr Fraser Hunter (NMS) on the impact of Rome on Peeblesshire, exploring how over some four centuries the region experienced the ebb and flow of military occupation at the edge of the Empire. Fraser will be followed by Dr Tim Clarkson (author & independent researcher) who will consider Tweeddale in the Early Middle Ages, looking at the archaeological evidence from a historian's viewpoint, considering it alongside modern ideas about the political geography and cultural identities of the period. One of the most significant recent local projects comprised the surveys and excavations carried out in Glenrath in 2013, and in his talk, Dr Graeme Cavers (AOC Archaeology) will look back at the results of that work and consider their implications for our understanding of the development of the agricultural and settlement landscape in the later prehistoric and early historical period.

After a short tea break, Dr Piers Dixon (formerly of Historic Environment Scotland) will bring our chronological overview of local archaeology to a close by considering how our understanding of Tweeddale in the medieval period has changed in the last 50 years. Finally Dr Chris Bowles (Scottish Borders Council) will round off what promises to be a stimulating and informative day by drawing on the various themes covered in the programme to consider the future of archaeology in Tweeddale and the impact of the large-scale changes in land use that we are likely to witness over the next 25 years.

Date: Saturday 19th October 2019
Time: 9.30am-5.30pm
Venue: MacFarlane Hall (Peebles Old Parish Church)
Cost (includes teas/coffees & buffet lunch): £20

To download a booking form, please click here.