Uncovering the Forgotten Archaeology of Scotland’s Roman Past


A brand new book has been published containing all of Scotland’s Roman sites in one volume for the first time.

Beyond the Empire: A Guide to the Roman Remains promises to unearth the forgotten archaeology within Scotland.

The book has detailed over 300 sites across Scotland which were occupied by the Roman army at one point.

Scotland was the only country never conquered by the Roman Empire, and always remained out of Rome’s reach.

The historical guide promises to unravel the forgotten history of the Romans during their time in Scotland (C) Crowood Press

The Roman army during that time was seen as the most powerful military machine around but failed to take over the land of the north

Despite failure to subjugate the Caledonian tribes, the Roman influence was still felt throughout what is now Scotland, with archaeologists constantly finding tantalising glimpses of the remains of the Empire.

Scotland is home to 300 known or suspected Roman sites, many of which are still to reveal their secrets.

There are battlefields and forts, camps and long-forgotten temples, not to mention the Antonine Wall which cuts across central Scotland, separating the Romans from the barbarians.

 Newstead fort and camps with comemoration stone and the Eildon HIll in Melrose
Newstead fort and camps with commemoration stone and the Eildon Hill in Melrose

Beyond the Empire, written by Durham University archaeologist, Andrew Tibbs, is designed as a guide for anyone with little or no knowledge of Scotland’s past, and contains 150 full colour images, over 100 location maps, information about the history of each site, details of the Roman archaeology and what can be seen on the ground, along with notable finds from the sites.

Andrew said: “The Romans were in Britain for almost 400 years, and in that time kept trying to invade Scotland, sometimes they made it as far as the Highlands, and other times they didn’t get further than the Borders.

“As a result, we’ve got the remains of so many Roman monuments such as the Antonine Wall, a worthy successor to Hadrian’s Wall, or there’s Mons Graupius, a lost battlefield in the northeast where a handful of Romans defeated thousands of Caledonians.”

“Scotland may have been depicted as a bleak and desolate land full of wildlings living beyond the Wall in Game of Thrones, but the reality is that Scotland was a land which successive Roman Emperors wanted to tame and control, but none of them succeeded.”

Beyond the Empire: A Guide to the Roman Remains in Scotland is out now, published by Robert Hale, an imprint of The Crowood Press, is available from the publishers website https://www.crowood.com