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Roger J Mercer

551 219

Description Roger J Mercer

Collection Roger J Mercer

Catalogue Number 551 219

Category All Other

Scope and Content The collection comprises field records compiled in the course of excavation and survey of Scottish sites, including notes, drawings, photographic prints, negatives and slides. Projects include the excavations at Balfarg, Sketewan, and Cnoc Stanger, and field survey in Caithness, Sutherland, Eskdale, Bowmont Valley, and Kirkpatrick Fleming.

Archive History The collection was deposited with RCAHMS by Roger Mercer at various dates between the 1980s and 2000s.

System of Arrangement The collection is arranged by excavation or survey project.

Administrative History Roger Mercer, archaeologist (12 Sept 1944-3 Dec 2018). Born in Hendon, Hertfordshire, Roger Mercer came to the University of Edinburgh in 1963 where he studied archaeology under Professor Stuart Piggott. Graduating with an MA (Hons) in Archaeology in 1967, he first directed an excavation at Stannon Down, Cornwall, in 1968. In 1969 he was appointed assistant inspector with the Inspectorate of Ancient Monuments in London, at first working in the south-west of England, where he excavated the Neolithic settlement of Carn Brea between 1970 and 1973. He also directed the excavation of the flint mines at Grimes Graves, in Norfolk (1971-2). In 1974 he returned to the Department of Archaeology in Edinburgh as a lecturer. In 1982 he was appointed as reader and between 1982 and 1987 served as Acting Head of the department. He directed a major programme of field surveys in Caithness and Sutherland (1976-89), Bowmont Valley (1984-8), Kirkpatrick Fleming (1988), excavations of the hillfort of Hambledon Hill, Dorset (from 1974), the prehistoric henge at Balfarg, Fife (1977), a settlement at Cnoc Stanger (1981-2), a bronze age cairn at Sketewan, Perth and Kinross (1988). In parallel with his archaeological career, Roger Mercer was committed to volunteer military service, first as a member of the OTC, and later the TA, in which he gained a commission. In 1990 he was appointed Secretary of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. He retired in 2004, and was awarded an OBE for services to archaeology. The following year he was elected President of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (2005-8). He published widely: his principal publications include: Hambledon Hill: A Neolithic Landscape (1980); Farming Practice in British Prehistory (1981); Grimes Graves, Norfolk, Volume I: Excavations 1971-2, and with A Saville, Volume II: The Flint Assemblage (1981); Kirkpatrick Fleming, Dumfriesshire: An Anatomy of a Parish in Southwest Scotland (1997); (with F M Healy) Hambledon Hill, Dorset, England: Excavation and survey of a Neolithic monument complex and its surrounding landscape (2008); Native and Roman on the Northern Frontier (2018). For further detail, see: Proc Soc Antiq Scot 148 (2018), 1–12 DOI:

Accruals No further accessions are anticipated.


Collection Hierarchy - Collection Level

Collection Level (551 219) Roger J Mercer

Preview Category Catalogue Number Title Date Level
All Other 551 219/3 Archive related to walking and field survey in Sutherland c. 1978 Group Level
All Other 551 219/2 Archive from excavation, post excavation analysis and publication relating to Sketewan cairn, Balnaguard, Perthshire c. 1988 Group Level
All Other 551 219/1 Archive from excavations at Cnoc Stanger, Reay, Caithness 1981 Group Level
All Other 551 219/12 Archive from the Castle O'er Survey Group Level
All Other 551 219/4 Archive relating to a survey of the Bowmont Valley Group Level
All Other 551 219/6 Archive related to field survey in Caithness 1977 Group Level
All Other 551 219/8 Archive from excavations at Lealt Bay, Jura Group Level
All Other 551 219/7 Archive from excavations at Balfarg 1977 Group Level
All Other 551 219/9 Archive from excavations at Long Knowe, Eskdale Group Level
All Other 551 219/10 Archive from excavations at Torness 1975 Group Level
All Other 551 219/11 Archive from the Arran Field Survey 1976 Group Level

People and Organisations