The History of Leith

April 1, 2013

Relics

Many relics of the Romans have been turned
up from time to time upon the site of Edinburgh,
but not the slightest trace has been found to indicate |
that it was ever occupied by them as a dwellingplace
or city. Yet, Ptolemy, in his ” Geography,”
speaks of the place as the Centrum alatum, ” a
winged camp, or a height, flanked on each side
by successive heights, girded with intermediate
valleys.” Hence, the site may have been a native
fort or hill camp of the Ottadeni.
When cutting a new road over the Gallon Hill,
in 1817, a Roman urn was found entire; another
(supposed to be Roman), eleven and a half inches
in height, was found when digging the foundation
of the north pier of
^e -Dean Bridge,
that spans a deep
ravine, through
which the Water of
Leith finds its way
to the neighbouring
port. In 1782 a
coin of the Emperor
Vespasian was found
in a garden of the
Pleasance, and is
now in the Museum
of Antiquities; and
ROMAN URN FOUND AT THE DEAN, when excavating in
(From the Antiquarian Museum.) St. Ninian’s ROW, On
the western side of
the Calton, in 1815, there was found a quantity of
fine red Samian ware, of the usual embossed character.
In 1822, when enlarging the drain by which
the old bed of the North Loch was kept dry,
almost at the base of the Castle rock, portions of
an ancient Roman causeway were discovered, four
feet below the modern road. Another portion of
a Roman way, composed of irregular rounded
stones, closely rammed together on a bed of
forced soil, coloured with fragments of brick, was
discovered beneath the foundations of the Trinity
College Church, when it was demolished in 1845.

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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