Glasgow Archaeological Society   [Hrsg.]
The Antonine Wall report: being an account of excavations, etc., made under the direction of the Glasgow Archæological Society during 1890 - 93 — Glasgow, 1899

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section of the vallum alone was usually extended to the edge of
the fosse, and may be described as a narrow trench upwards of
12 yards long, while a full section from the south side of the
vallum to the north extremity of the outer mound was a trench
over 40 yards in length.

General Remarks on the Interior of the Vallum.

The descriptions of Gordon, Roy, and Stuart had induced a
preconception that the vallum made, according to their statement,
of promiscuous earth thrown out of the ditch, would show a
mingled mass of stony debris, such as is found in all the aggers
of the North English vallum. The preconception has not been
realised. Our vallum, wherever it has been cut, is singularly
void of large stones. Essentially, its interior consists of fine
earths varying in colour and character with the locality, but
invariably distinguished by a relative stonelessness. Stones
there are, but they are very few, and they are very seldom as
big as one's hand, while, in marked contrast on the other side
of the fosse, the outer mound is full of stones of all sorts and

A second persistent feature in the soil of the vallum, at once
differentiating it from the ordinary soil to either side of the
vallum, was visible in the first cutting, and has repeated itself
with the greatest regularity in the subsequent sections. This is
a systematic layering in the soils of which the vallum is com-
posed. The sections are all transverse, and the face of each has
a tracery of thin lines, sometimes dense black, sometimes
merely dark, sometimes a deep red or purple. The thickness
of these lines varies; frequently they are only a quarter of an
inch, oftener half an inch, sometimes one inch, and occasionally
two inches, running across the vallum in a general parallel with
the stone base. In the sections at one place only (Seabeg), these
are faint and only traceable by the eye in close search for them;
but generally, they are too plain to escape notice by any
observer. At times, they meet and make forks at the junctions,
usually with the open end of the fork pointing outward towards
the nearest face of the vallum. These lines seem to mark the
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