Investigation of a lost Iron-Age hillfort in Southern Scotland led to the discovery of a large defensive ditch, constructed during the Pictish Wars
In 2012, a team from Rampart Scotland carried out an archaeological investigation at Sheriffside, a large crop mark site some 20 miles to the east of Edinburgh. Unexpectedly, a ditch measuring over 8m across and up to 2.80m deep was uncovered, which appears to represent the final phase of enclosure of the hillfort. Currently, this is the largest ditch discovered in the region and has produced a C14 date range of AD 211-384.
Archaeologically, this date range and re-cutting of the ditch is extremely interesting, as it falls into a turbulent era in the history of Southern Scotland. After the Romans withdrew behind Hadrian’s Wall in the early 3rd century AD, the Picts carried out frequent raids and may have forced the local tribes such as the Votadini into taking defensive action to protect themselves and their livestock.