Traprain Law

   As reported by the National Museum of Scotland, archaeologists from the National Museums of Scotland, The University of Edinburgh and Queen's University Belfast discovered a wide range of materials on Traprain Law which confirm its role as a major center in Roman Scotland, when the hilltop was inhabited by the Votadini tribe. The group conducted small-scale evaluations over two seasons at this dominant hill, 20 miles east of Edinburgh. Their investigations tend to show that the hilltop was densely occupied during the Iron Age, with the remains of buildings, hearths and ramparts. During the Roman period, the site seems to have been at its height. The excavations have suggested the hill was undefended throughout the Roman period, pointing to peaceful times or Roman control. The powerful Votadini tribe of south-east Scotland had good relations with the Romans as shown by a wealth of high-quality Roman finds, including the magnificent late Roman silver treasure now in the Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh.
   The excavations also shed light on the later history of the hill. Fraser Hunter, Curator of Iron Age and Roman Collections at the National Museums of Scotland, explains:
   "We have found unexpected evidence for the later use of the hill, after its abandonment as a major settlement around the 5th century AD. A typical early Christian burial has been uncovered, providing evidence of some religious use.
   "These findings lend some legitimacy to the myths which link the birth of St Mungo to events on Traprain. His mother, St. Enoch, was believed to have been banished from the hill when her father, King Loth, discovered she was pregnant. A sizeable medieval enclosure was also unearthed in the same area, right on the very summit. Although at this stage it cannot be proven, this could be connected with a church or shrine to St Mungo.
   "These excavations have given us tantalising glimpses of this fascinating site. They show the importance of Traprain and the potential locked in it to tell us about life in southern Scotland 2000 years ago."