Archaeological Survey

Plane Table Survey PhotoThe Peeblesshire Archaeological Society was founded in 1994 and from the start, its members were keen to participate in archaeological fieldwork. The Society’s first project set out to survey and record the archaeology of the Manor Valley, which lies a few kilometres south-west of Peebles. Subsequent projects included a survey of Kilrubie Farmstead, conducted as part of the Scotland’s Rural Past initiative. The Society is currently carrying out an investigation into the archaeology of Eddleston Parish.

What are we hoping to achieve? After all, the classic two volume Inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Peeblesshire, published in 1967 by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS), documents the archaeology of Peeblesshire in considerable detail. However, no such account can ever be wholly definitive and areas of the landscape merit re-investigation when viewed with fresh eyes and in the light of changing approaches to archaeological field survey.

Since the Royal Commission survey, carried out in the late 1950s and early 1960s, there has been significant development in the equipment and methods available to archaeologists. Access to electronic surveying equipment and computer-based techniques greatly facilitate the recording and interpretation of archaeological features within the landscape.

Furthermore, the intellectual framework that underpins archaeological research has also evolved. In the mid 1960’s when the RCAHMS published the Peeblesshire Inventories, archaeological monuments were viewed as discrete entities in the landscape. Today, archaeologists take a wider view and sites are interpreted within the context of their broader landscape setting. They are also interested in recording how patterns of land use have changed through time.
It is for these reasons that members of the Peeblesshire Archaeological Society continue to study the archaeologically rich landscape of Peebleshire in order to better understand past settlement patterns and land use in this beautiful corner of the Scottish Borders.
If you would like to take part in archaeological landscape survey, please contact us. Full training will be given and no previous experience is necessary.

A full list of reports that relate to the Society’s survey projects can be found here.