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Hilltops, settlement 530m north of

A Scheduled Monument in East Berwickshire, Scottish Borders

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.8143 / 55°48'51"N

Longitude: -2.0853 / 2°5'6"W

OS Eastings: 394754

OS Northings: 657899

OS Grid: NT947578

Mapcode National: GBR F1W6.BK

Mapcode Global: WH9Y9.Y35Z

Entry Name: Hilltops, settlement 530m N of

Scheduled Date: 16 February 2009

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12453

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: settlement

Location: Foulden

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: East Berwickshire

Traditional County: Berwickshire

Description

The monument comprises the remains of bivallate enclosed settlement of probable later prehistoric date, visible as a cropmark on oblique photographs. It is located at 190m above sea level on a gentle S-facing slope forming the head of the Deans Burn valley, the source of which is 550m to the WNW.

Cropmarks represent negative archaeological features, the fills of which retain more moisture than the surrounding subsoil, resulting in enhanced growth of the crops above. The enclosure consists of two concentric ditches between 4-7m apart. The outer ditch encloses an area that measures 96m NW/SE by 100m transversely. The enclosed area is a flat natural platform and the outer edge of the monument is defined by a visible drop in slope. There is an entrance on the SW side measuring 8m wide in the outer ditch and narrowing to 3.3m wide at the inner ditch. There are no indications on existing aerial photographs of associated internal features surviving as cropmarks. A 16m length of the NE portion of the ditch circuit is not visible on aerial photographs and coincides with a recently created beetle bank, planted with amenity woodland delineated with a post-and-wire fence.

The area to be scheduled is a truncated circle in plan, to include the remains visible on the aerial photography and an area around in which evidence relating to the construction and use of the site may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. Specifically excluded from the scheduling, to allow for their maintenance, are the above-ground elements of two electricity pylons to the south-west of the monument. The scheduling extends up to but excludes the post-and-wire fence on the NE boundary of the scheduled area.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

The monument's cultural significance can be expressed as follows:

Intrinsic characteristics

The monument has been identified from two series of oblique aerial photographs taken in 1995 and 2000. It is a clearly visible cropmark within arable land. The boundary ditches and any other associated negative features of the monument are likely to preserve archaeological deposits related to its construction, use and subsequent abandonment. In addition, the remains of any upstanding features, such as the rampart, are likely to overlie buried soils that will contain valuable information concerning the environment in which the monument was constructed. Though not apparent on aerial photographs, the interior of the monument is likely to retain traces of associated structures and other archaeological features as well as artefactual information that could enhance our knowledge of Iron-Age life and social organisation. Close examination of the monument and associated features and deposits may also aid our understanding of its use and whether it saw one or many phases of occupation and construction.

Contextual characteristics

The monument has open views in all directions, except to the NE because of the Greenfield Plantation. There is a spring adjacent to the NW of the monument and the source of the Deans Burn lies some 550m to the WNW.

A further cropmark has been noted on aerial photographs 100m to the north-east. This consists of a curving negative feature, possibly a ditch, some 104m in length. It is not possible to understand the nature of the relationship, if any, between the two features but they are potentially contemporary.

Enclosed, palisaded settlements are a feature of the Borders area from the earlier 1st millennium BC, with embanked examples most common after 500BC. This development in form sometimes occurs on the same site and traces of such an earlier structure may lie beneath the visible remains of the rampart and ditches. The development of enclosed, defendable settlements may be indicative of a need for security, which may indicate competition for land and other resources. Analysis of the pattern of this type of settlement in this region could enhance our understanding of how this division of resources happened and the resultant patterns of landuse.

It may also be possible to understand social structure and hierarchy of settlements through spatial patterning and comparison of monument size, complexity and location. In addition, information this monument may hold with regard to its final period of use and eventual abandonment may enhance our understanding of why and how it became redundant. The monument may also contain information relating to the nature of any interaction with other groups of people, such as the incoming Romans.

As the remains of a late prehistoric enclosed settlement site, the monument has the potential to contribute much information about domestic life, society and economy of later prehistoric communities in the SE of Scotland during this period. A particular concentration of later-prehistoric defended settlement has been noted in the area of the eastern Lammermuir Hills, which may reflect a political entity. Comparing and contrasting this monument to similar sites, both within and outside the region, can enhance our understanding of regional identity, economy and society.

Associative characteristics

The monument is called 'Camp Field Fort' by R Kingham in 1935. It is not known where this name came from but a local source is possible.

National Importance

This monument is of national importance as it has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to the understanding or appreciation of the past, particularly our understanding of later prehistoric enclosed settlement and associated features, both within the region and beyond. In addition it could make a significant contribution to our understanding of Iron-Age society enabling us to understand social structure, patterns of settlement, architecture, economy and ritual. The monument may also have the ability to further our understanding of the environment and landuse at the time it was constructed and throughout its period of use.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NT95NW5.

Aerial photographs:

RCAHMS (1995) NT95NW5 Greenfield, oblique aerial view, taken from the NNW, centred on the cropmarks of a settlement, and a linear cropmark. Archive No: C 46522.

References:

Dent J and McDonald R 1997, EARLY SETTLERS IN THE BORDERS, Scottish Borders Council.

Kinghorn R 1935, 'Unrecorded Berwickshire Antiquities, being the Chalmers-Jervise Prize essay for 1933', PROC SOC ANTIQ SCOT 69, 164-165, fig 5.

RCAHMS 1980b, THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES AND MONUMENTS OF BERWICKSHIRE DISTRICT, BORDERS REGION, The Archaeological Sites and Monuments of Scotland Series No. 10, 42, No. 365, Edinburgh, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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