Top 10 papers in PSAS

1. ‘Ava’: a Beaker-associated woman from a cist at Achavanich, Highland, and the story of her (re-)discovery and subsequent study

by Maya Hoole et al

This is the first time that an ancient DNA report has been published in the Society's Proceedings. It describes the discovery and subsequent investigation of a cist in a rock-cut pit at Achavanich, Highland, containing the tightly contracted skeletal remains of a young woman, accompanied by a Beaker, three flint artefacts and a cattle scapula.

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2. Communion Tokens of the Established Church of Scotland - Sixteenth, Seventeenth, and Eighteenth Centuries

by Alexander J S Brook

An exploration of the role of communion tokens in Scotland. It describes their use in Scottish religious practice, how the markings on tokens changed over time and how the tokens were made. The paper concludes with an alphabetical list of list of tokens and their descriptions, followed by illustrations of over 1000 tokens and their place of origin (where known).


3. Roman coins found in Scotland, 1961-70

by Anne S Robertson

The seventh list of Roman (and Greek) coins found in Scotland is organised according to the site where the coins were found and each listing includes details of who found them and under what circumstances. The article also includes a discussion of the significance of coins and coin hoards to the study of interactions between Romans and Scots. It ends with tables summarising all the coins found in the previous fifty years by period and metal.


4. From Colonsay to Whithorn: the work of a 19th-century antiquary, William Galloway

by Anna Ritchie

A biographical account for one of the Society’s historical Fellows, William B M Galloway (1832-97), an architect and archaeologist. The article covers some of the major excavations he was involved in, as well as his links to other prominent archaeologists of the day including Sir Henry Dryden and Christian MacLagan. Includes images of some of Galloway’s drawings and illustrations.


5. Notice of the Early Ecclesiastical Settlements at St Andrews

by William F Skene

The author attempts to identify when the veneration of St Andrews began in Scotland. This under-researched period of Scottish history is mentioned in several Saints’ Lives and legends, which Skene compares to the recorded royal and ecclesiastical history of the Picts. He concludes by arguing that the church was first founded in 736 by members of the exiled Northumbrian clergy.


6. The Ancient Roof of Glasgow Cathedral: Its Condition and Restoration

by W T Oldrieve

This article covers the repair of the roof timbers in St Mungo’s cathedral in Glasgow following restoration attempts in 1763 and 1824 that did not prevent further decay. The author describes how the cathedral’s original roof timbers were studied and how these findings informed the understanding of the different styles of roofwork used in different areas of the cathedral. The article concludes with two image plates showing the restored roofwork.


7. The ancient sundials of Scotland

by Andrew R Somerville

An update of an 1890 article about sundials in Scotland by Thomas Ross, including an updated catalogue of Scottish sundials. The article describes the different styles of sundial found in Scotland and speculates on the dates in which these designs may have been fashionable during the 17th and 18th centuries. The author then considers the reasons why Scotland might have developed such a strong interest in sundials during this period, including the potential influence of European styles and the impact of Renaissance and Calvinist thought.


8. The sources of flint and chert in northern Britain

by Caroline Wickham-Jones and G H Collins

This article lists the potential sources of flint and chert in prehistoric Scotland using information from the publications of the Geographical Survey of Great Britain. The authors highlight the quality of local stone nodules in determining the development of stone knapping and the status of large stone items in Scotland.


9. The Excavation of the Sculptor's Cave, Covesea, Morayshire

by Sylvia Benton

An account of the 1928 excavation of the Sculptor’s cave in Covesea undertaken by Sylvia Benton. The article discusses the methodology of the excavation, as well as findings from the Bronze Age and Roman occupations of the site. Analysis of the human bones and coinage found at the site are also discussed in detail.


10. Notice of an Ancient Scottish Lectern of Brass, now in the Parish Church of St Stephen's, St Albans, Hertfordshire. (Plate III)

by William Galloway

This article sets out the case that a lectern found buried in the grounds of a church in Hertfordshire in 1750 is of Scottish origin. The author argues that the lectern was likely removed from the Abbey Church of Holyrood in 1544 by Sir Richard Lee of Sopwell, who then donated it to the church. The article includes a description of the lectern’s design and the list of documentary evidence that led the author to his conclusions.