On Thursday October 18th, 2018, Glasgow Archaeological Society will be kicking off our annual lecture programme with two guest speakers. This year's GAS Presidential Award-winner, Euan MacKie, will begin the evening with his lecture, The Broch and the Empire: Re-assessing the Work at Leckie, Stirlingshire, in the 1970’s.
Following that, Geoff Bailey, Keeper of Archaeology and Local History Falkirk Community Trust will deliver a lecture on Rediscovering the Roman Fort on the Antonine Wall at Falkirk.
Leckie Broch in Stirlingshire first came to the attention of archaeologists in the 1960s, with excavations soon following in the 1970s.
Now, 40 years since the excavations at Leckie Broch finished, Dr. MacKie will be offering a brief re-assessment of the work that has been carried out at Leckie over the years.
Dr. Euan MacKie has had an extensive and successful career in archaeology since graduating from the University of Cambridge with a degree in Archaeology and Anthropology in 1959, followed by his PhD at the University of Glasgow. Dr. MacKie worked as a curator at the Hunterian Museum in the University of Glasgow up until his decision to fully retire from his post in 1998. Since then, he has held a number of positions as honorary research fellow of Glasgow University as well as the Hunterian, and in 2007 became an Honorary Research Associate of the National Museums of Scotland.
Throughout his career Dr. MacKie has taken an especial interest in archaeoastronomy, a term he is credited with coining himself. His fieldwork has included the excavations at Leckie brooch itself, which resulted in his publication of the first interim report on the initial findings from the site, on behalf of the Hunterian Museum in 1974. Since the early 1960’s he has published extensively on a variety of other subjects, as well, including his work on Mayan sites in Belize (the British Honduras).
Besides his research and fieldwork interests, Dr. MacKie is a former president of Glasgow Archaeological Society, and he was the recipient of this year’s Presidential Award, presented to him by the society’s outgoing president, Dale Bilsland, in April.
Image credit: Leckie broch, supplied by CANMORE.
Prior to 1991 the location of the fort at Falkirk, one of only 17 on the Antonine Wall, was not known. Since then volunteers from the Falkirk area have been busy digging trenches in gardens within earshot of the thronging High Street and slowly a plan of the fort and its surroundings has emerged.
We now know the layout of the fort’s ditches, the size of the fort, the presence of two annexes, and a construction yard for the main buildings.
At a personal level we have the name of a soldier from the garrison scratched onto a pot. And when the Romans left we have tantalising evidence for continued occupation…
Photos provided by Geoff Bailey
Geoff Bailey has worked as Keeper of Archaeology and Local History since 1984 (just after the Romans left). He has written books on the Battle of Falkirk 1746, Grangemouth Airfield, the Falkirk Home Guard, etc.
The Roman excavations have been published in PSAS, except those that will appear in a new monograph at the end of this year or early next year. Articles in Calatria, the journal of the Falkirk Local History Society have included, the town walls of Falkirk, the Steeple, Local churchyards, etc. He has also been fortunate enough to discover a 10th century Celtic Cross at Carriden, a 10th century timber hall at Callendar Park, an Iron Age hillfort at Hallglen, as well as the Roman fort at Falkirk.
Our lecture programme runs from October through to April each year. As with all of our lectures, attendance is free of charge and open to GAS members and non-members alike.
Lectures usually take place in the Glasgow University’s Boyd Orr Building, in University Avenue on the third Thursday of each month, starting at 7.30pm. Please be aware, however, that the Dalrymple Lecture Series are typically held at a different venue.