5.6 Craft and industry

Craft and industry have seen surprisingly little work in Scotland (with the exception of pottery production), yet there is considerable evidence in the excavated assemblages, as discussed below. Enough sites have been excavated to a standard and scale which would allow comparative approaches at a broad level, permitting the framing of questions for testing by subsequent analysis or excavation.

Excavated material is ripe for reappraisal, initially on a broad-brush presence/absence basis to see how common particular crafts were. This could then be developed in more detailed work looking at issues of location and frequency of activities, and so on. Specific projects could look, for instance, at variations along the Wall, or consider broader patterns in space and time across Roman Scotland. The great advantage in Scotland is that the assemblages are manageable; it would not be an impossible effort to study the bulk of the material first-hand (with the exception of pottery, which is a much larger task) and produce a first-stage synthesis. Key questions include: how self-sufficient were forts in producing a range of material culture, whether primary manufacture or expedient repair? How much of this took place in the fort, and how much in surrounding settlements or vici? Were there supply networks between forts?





Where best to include work being done on Roman tiles and trade routes between York and Perth: Finlay, A, McComish, J, Bates, R and Selby D 2011. Osmium, Carbon and Trace Element Investigations into Archaeological Material. Goldschmidt Conference, 2011 ?