The Broxmouth Project: Vintage, Retro, Or The Next Big Thing? Post-Excavation And The Academic Sector

Dr. Jo McKenzie (Division of AGES, University of Bradford)
Ian Armit (Division of AGES, University of Bradford)

Located 30 miles east of Edinburgh on the East Lothian plain, the site of Broxmouth was destroyed by quarrying in 1978, after an 18-month rescue excavation which was the biggest of its time and is still the most complete excavation of a Scottish hillfort. This complex site – a multi-ditched and reworked defensive circuit surrounding a palimpsest of settlement structures – produced a wealth of artefact and environmental material. A small inhumation cemetery just north of the defences confirmed Broxmouth’s significance for Scottish Iron Age studies. However, post-excavation work stalled in the 1980s and publication remains at a preliminary stage.

2008 saw the Broxmouth archive come to Bradford University for a three-year programme of reassessment, analysis and publication, bringing together specialists within AGES at Bradford and NMS as well as several original Broxmouth staff, funded by Historic Scotland. The project is augmented by three AHRC/HS funded Collaborative Doctoral Awards which, alongside the Project Team, will form a coordinated research programme utilising Broxmouth as a platform to advance understanding of the Iron Age in SE Scotland and beyond.

We discuss the challenges of curation, interrogation and interpretation of a backlog project of this scope, and introduce the methodology of the Broxmouth Project in bringing this within the academic system. The Project aim – to harness the potential of both archive and Project Team as a ‘real-time’ resource for research and teaching, thus maximising research output through complementary academic projects from undergraduate to doctoral level – is evaluated as a post-excavation technique.

The Broxmouth Project: Vintage, Retro, Or The Next Big Thing? Post-Excavation And The Academic Sector (PDF file)

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