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Gravestone(S) (Roman), Souterrain (Prehistoric)

Site Name Shirva

Classification Gravestone(S) (Roman), Souterrain (Prehistoric)

Canmore ID 45162

Site Number NS67NE 13

NGR NS 69 75

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council East Dunbartonshire
  • Parish Kirkintilloch (Strathkelvin)
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Strathkelvin
  • Former County Dunbartonshire

Archaeology Notes

NS67NE 13 69 75.

Area NS 69 75. About 1728 a stone structure was found 'in the Fossa, close by the Wall', on 'Mr Cather of Shervy's ground'; contemporary descriptions of this and other discoveries at Shirva suggest that it may have been a souterrain situated in the ditch of the Antonine Wall to the E of Shirva. It was aligned from E to W and was in the form of a passage about 1.4m wide, which had a semi- circular terminal at its W end but was open to the E; a single lintel 1.7m long was found close to the E end. Within this passage there was 'a good deal of ashes. . . and a piece of an urn', and on the floor at the W end 'a stone brown with ashes'. The walls were 'built of about seven or eight courses of hewn stones, many of them of raised diamond work' and they incorporated two uninscribed Roman tombstones, each showing a dead man at a sepulchral banquet. A stone to Flavius Lucianus, a soldier of the Second Legion (RIB 2181), was also found, besides other fragments bearing the abbreviation D(is) M(anibus) and a number of 'pillars' and 'pedestals'. Four or five years previoulsy a length of walling had been found running northwards from the E end of the N wall of the structure, and at about the same date 'upon the North side . . . a stone, among several others, with Simanes posuit Simani'. This stone is probably that set up by Salamanes to a boy of fifteen of the same name (RIB 2182), which, according to Horsley, was 'dug up at a place a little east' of Shirva, together with a dedication slab of the Second Legion (RIB 2180) and two other tombstones, one to a woman by the Verecunda (RIB 2183), and the other, uninscribed, but bearing the relief of a man standing. A terminus post quem in the late 2nd century AD for the construction of the passage is provided by the tombstones and the diamond broached stones, which were presumably robbed from either the Roman fort at Auchendavy (NS67SE 12) or Bar Hill (NS77NW 8).

RCAHMS 1982; A Gordon 1732; J Horsley 1732; G Macdoanld 1897; 1934; I Richmond and K A Steer 1959; A S Robertson 1979.

No further information was obtained during field investigation in 1957 or 1980.

Visited by OS (J L D) 11 November 1957 and (M J F) 23 May 1980.


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