Cawdor (Roman fort)
Cawdor (Roman Fort), located near the small village of Eastern Galcantray (15 miles east of Inverness), is suspected of being one of the northernmost Roman forts in Great Britain, though this evidence is controversial.
The site was excavated between 1984 and 1988 and several features were identified which are supportive of this classification. Roman pottery similar to the one found in the great Inchtuthil Roman fort has been positively found.
Jones (1986a) interpreted the main structural phase within the (Cawdor) site’s history as potential evidence for the presence of a Roman military work. This assumption was based on a number of salient factors. These include: the rectilinear form of the enclosure ditch, with its V-shaped profile; the associated timber gate and corner tower; the presence of possible contemporary rectilinear timber buildings, which appear reminiscent in both size and form to barrack blocks; and finally, the dating evidence. This, based on the one sigma calibrated range, suggests the slighting of the site during the late first century AD, which would correspond to the governorship of Agricola, or possibly his unknown successor.
If confirmed, it would be the most northerly known Roman fort in the British Isles. The possibility that Agricola reached the northernmost area of Scotland can be confirmed by discoveries north of Inverness. Specifically at Portmahomack  and Tarradale in northern Beauly Firth.
Satisfied with his victory, Agricola extracted hostages from the Caledonian tribes and instructed his fleet to sail around the north coast, confirming for the first time that Britain was in fact an island.
He then may have marched his army to the northern coast of Britain, and reached the Inverness area where his army could have made the Eastern Galcantray Fort.
A single fragment of Roman coarse ware was found in the bottom of the ditch outside the south-west gateway along with burnt material; this pottery has very similar fabric to that found at Inchtuthil. In addition to this sparse pottery evidence, the demolition deposits in the western ditch yielded a piece of charcoal which has been radiocarbon dated to A.D.80-130 (Calibrated).
The fort was dismantled, according to the research done by Jones and Keillar, after only one year of use, confirming the sudden withdrawal of Agricola from Roman Britain in 85 AD.
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- Roman fort near Inverness
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- Excavations at Cawdor 1986
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- Scotland during the Roman Empire
- Gnaeus Julius Agricola
- Roman Britain
- Deers Den
- Excavations of Jones and Daniels
- RCAHMS: Cawdor Roman Fort excavations at Easter Galcantray
- The Roman Gask Project
- Temporary Marching Camp: Normandykes, Peterculter, Grampian (2004)
- Britannia - The Roman army and navy in Britain (55BC - 410AD)
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