Rome's First Frontier: The Flavian Occupation of Northern Scotland
Oxbow says: Our conception of Roman frontiers is dominated by images of Hadrian's Wall, a fixed, physical barrier comprising ditches, ramparts and walls, and forts. However, the Roman frontier known as the Gask line, located in Perthshire in Scotland, which is vying to become the earliest fortified land frontier in the Roman Empire, challenges our idea of Roman fontier systems. This study draws on ten years of investigation at Roman military sites in Scotland, including 27 excavations at 18 sites plus geophysical surveys and aerial photography. The first part of the book presents detailed surveys and descriptions of various forts, camps and watchtowers stretched across the Highlands accompanied by maps, plans and photographs. The second parts seeks to interpret the evidence and places it within a historical and military context. The authors assess the date and function of these military installations suggesting how they might have formed a highly flexible form of defence, designed to control and monitor, perhaps serving as points in a supply line or signalling system, and from which to launch assaults into the Highlands. The Gask Line not only represents a more open frontier system, unlike the fixed barriers of the Limes or Hadrian's Wall, but also shows how the existing historical narrative of Roman Scotland is both flawed and biased.
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List of illustrations
Roman military sites in Scotland
The Highland line
6 other sections not shown
acres activity aerial Agricola air photographs annexe Antonine appear army Britain building built century certainly close coins construction course crossing defences ditch early east entire entrance evidence example excavation expected facing fact field Flavian followed force fort fort's fortlet fortress forts four frontier further Gask gate geophysical given ground Highland House Inchtuthil internal known later least lies look means miles military native needed north-east north-west northern occupation outer perhaps period position possible posts praetorium present probably produced rampart remains represent result river road Roman Roman road route running Scotland seems seen short side signs similar single southern structure suggest surface survey Tacitus temporary camp timber tower traced trench turn usually visible Wall whilst wide Wood