Offensive Romans Are Heading to Annan this June

Is Burnswark Hill the site of a bloody conflict between invading Romans and he Iron Age people of southern Scotland? The 2015 Burnswark Project, coordinated by The Trimontium Trust and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, set out to answer this question. “The Offensive Romans” exhibition opens at Annan Museum on 4 June 2016.

It presents the interpretation of the 2015 Burnswark Project findings and challenges previous ideas about the site being used by the Romans for training when they built their camp there nearly 2000 years ago.


On Friday 3 June 2016 at 6.30pm Dr John Reid, the coordinator of the 2015 Burnswark Project, will give a talk at Annan Museum entitled “Bullets, Ballistas and Burnswark”. This is open to all, but people are asked to contact Annan Museum (01461 201384) to book a seat. The talk will be followed by refreshments and an opportunity to preview the exhibition.


Treating Burnswark Hill as a potential crime scene, the 2015 Project employed systematic metal detecting techniques, excavated selected trenches and undertook a forensic analysis of Roman ammunition found at the site. Although there are still unanswered questions the findings so far are fascinating.


The exhibition also describes the lifestyle of the Iron Age people who lived at the time of the Roman invasion and the building of Hadrian’s Wall. It compares their abilities to defend themselves with the might of the Roman army and its highly trained soldiers.


Councillor Tom McAughtrie, Chair of Communities Committee said;


“Dumfries and Galloway Council Museums Service has worked in partnership with The Trimontium Trust, The Burnswark Project and Live Borders Museums and Galleries to create an exhibition that sheds a whole new light on what might have happened when the Romans arrived at Burnswark 2000 years ago. Heritage sites around our region are great tourist attractions and it is fascinating to see how new techniques in archaeology can tell us more about our ancestors who lived in these ancient places.”


The exhibition runs until 27 August 2016.


Family activities will also be available in the museum gallery throughout the exhibition during normal opening hours (Monday to Saturday 11am – 4pm). These include designing an Iron Age shield, making a Roman helmet and learning about Roman numerals, altars and tombstones as well as gallery trails and quizzes.




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