Good morning, we are winding Thirty-One Days of the Time Team. This time the Time Team is looking for the Lost Scottish City of Roxburgh.
Five hundred years ago on the Scottish border, there was a plain that housed one of the wealthiest cities in Scotland. A once-thriving city is now gone. The only thing that remains is the ruins of a castle. So what happened to this city? Why did no one dig it before? Time Team is going to be doing some fresh archelogy on the site to learn more about Roxburgh. How will the Time Team tackle this assignment?
The site is one mile long and half a mile long. There should be churches, a monastery, and additional buildings on the site. How will the Time Team tackle this site? Have they bitten off more than they can chew? Mick is optimistic that the Time Team will be able to further Roxburgh’s story.
The aerial photos show something in the ground and the Time Team will use the photography to help figure out where to dig trenches. Geophysics goes over the site. They are trying to find the main street in Roxburgh. The Time Team is using new technology on the site. They will use magnetometry for this site. This new technology is faster and will provide Time Team answers quickly.
Historian believes that Roxburgh started as a small town, but then King David I took in interest in the site. King David brought stability to Scotland. He decided that Roxburgh would be his power center and built a castle. Why did King David choose this site for his city? The 12th and 13th Centuries were the periods where towns were developed. Mick talks about the Roxburgh site as a place where a fresh perspective on Medieval town building. It is a pristine site. The Duke of Roxburgh owns the site and has permitted the Time Team to dig on the site.
However, permission comes with a cost. They are limited as to how much they can dig. So the Time Team needs to choose carefully where to dig. John Gater’s geophysics results are proving to be confusing and Mick is giving John an hour to get better results. This town does not look like a planned town? In the meantime, Mick discovered bricks being dug up by tree roots. Are these trees hinting as to where the town defenses are? The first trench goes in.
The extra hour gives the Time Team better results and a second trench goes in over a ditch. Now that the Time Team has been given a shot of confidence in the geophysics results, additional geophysics is done with Stewart Ainsworth’s help.
The first trench is yielding some archelogy. There is evidence of a post hole and additional rock work. The trench is extended and the defensive ditch is found. In the second trench, a smaller ditch, the roadside ditch is found. Additionally, remains of cooking pots are found. Tony is relieved that there is evidence being found. What else will the Time Team discover in the three trenches?
Has the Time Team bitten off more than they can chew with this city? Why did this city vanish? What can the Time Team discover about this site? Will they discover the town plan? Stay tuned to this episode to find out more.
Time Team is trying to discover a lost city. It has its ups and downs, but this was an enjoyable episode to watch. Time Team also brought in new technology to use to further help with their discovery. This would be an excellent episode to show to a history classroom, especially when students are learning about how towns developed.
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