Shaping Roman Scotland

Roman forts reflect the geological changes that have shaped Scotland and Scottish history.

Regular Romans

The “painfully utilitarian” Romans neatly spaced their forts along the Antonine Wall.

The Antonine Wall, known to the Romans as Vallum Antonini, was a turf fortification on stone foundations, built by the Romans across what is now the Central Belt of Scotland, between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde.

Representing the northernmost frontier barrier of the Roman Empire, it spanned approximately 63 kilometres (39 miles) and was about 3 metres (10 feet) high and 5 metres (16 feet) wide.

Construction began in AD 142 at the order of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, and took about 12 years to complete.

The Limes Britannicus (“British Limes”) is a relatively modern collective name sometimes used for those fortifications and defensive ramparts that were built to protect the north, the coasts, and major transport routes of Roman Britain.

Life for the Romans was seriously, painfully utilitarian.

The Roman System of Mathematics – Mary Lillian Copeland – 1938

Irregular Romans

However, during the Invasion of Caledonia the Romans became so irrational and disorganised they positioned their forts to form two closely coupled chains.

The Roman invasion of Caledonia was launched in 208 by the Roman emperor Septimius Severus.

The invasion lasted until late 210 when the emperor became ill and died at Eboracum (York) on 4 February 211.

According to the history books the Invasion of Caledonia appears to have been an exuberant and irrational Incursion to Nowhere along the “hollow formed by the three great straths”.

The invasion was abandoned by Severus’ son Caracalla and Roman forces once again withdrew to Hadrian’s Wall.

When the Romans decided on imposing their rule on the north country, the most direct and, indeed, the only practicable road for their army lay through the hollow formed by the three great straths — Strathallan, Strathearn, and Strathmore — which stretch in a straight line along the north-western flanks of the Ochill and Sidlaw Hills for a distance of some fifty miles.

Gradients are easy, and the only natural obstacle of any importance in the whole course of this route is the River Tay, which cuts directly across it ten miles north of Perth.

No doubt the Romans had a crossing in this locality, near the fort at Inchtuthil, which lies on the further bank, but there is a good ford nearer Perth, about two miles from the town, immediately to the north of the mouth of the river Almond.

This shallow was also chosen by the Romans for passing over the river, a camp being erected in the vicinity at Grassy Walls on the left or eastern bank, about half a mile above the ford, and a fort at Bertha on the western bank opposite the crossing.

Notes on the Roman Remains at Grassy Walls and Bertha, Near Perth
J Graham Callander
Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland – 1918-1919 – Vol 53

A strath is a large valley, typically a river valley that is wide and shallow (as opposed to a glen, which is typically narrower and deep).

Severus wasn’t the only Roman who got tired and emotional in Scotland.

Agricola’s grand Incursion to Nowhere involved a fleet, light infantry, auxiliaries, and numerous forts positioned haphazardly along an inland route that made “fleet support” impractical.

The Battle of Mons Graupius was, according to Tacitus, a Roman military victory in what is now Scotland, taking place in AD 83 or, less probably, 84.

The exact location of the battle is a matter of debate.

Historians have long questioned some details of Tacitus’s account of the fight, suggesting that he exaggerated Roman success.

According to Tacitus, Gnaeus Julius Agricola, who was the Roman governor and Tacitus’s father-in-law, had sent his fleet ahead to panic the Caledonians, and, with light infantry reinforced with British auxiliaries, reached the site, which he found occupied by the enemy.

Regular Romans Revisited

The first step towards solving the puzzle of the exuberant and irrational Romans is to place the “painfully utilitarian” pieces of the puzzle onto Ptolemy’s map of Scotland.

The second step involves a geographic adjustment to establish the Doggerland configuration.

the strange and quirky map of Scotland [drafted by Nicolaus Germanus in 1467] fits snugly with the modern bathymetry of the North Sea.


In this configuration the chains of forts were on opposite banks of the Doggerland outflow.

The Roman forts at Bertha and Grassy Walls were on opposite banks of the outflow.

This shallow was also chosen by the Romans for passing over the river, a camp being erected in the vicinity at Grassy Walls on the left or eastern bank, about half a mile above the ford, and a fort at Bertha on the western bank opposite the crossing.

The locality had also the advantage of being accessible from the sea as the tide comes up to within 400 yards of the ford, and the Tay would be navigable for Roman shipping as far as the town of Perth.

Portions of the fortifications on the two sites mentioned still survive.

That the remains are the work of the Romans is no recent discovery, as they have been recognised as such for at least a century and a half.

The camp at Grassy Walls was discovered in 1771 by General William Roy, when he was engaged in investigating sites connected with the Romans in Scotland, and the fort at Bertha was described as a ” Roman Station “ by William Maitland in 1757.

Notes on the Roman Remains at Grassy Walls and Bertha, Near Perth
J Graham Callander
Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland – 1918-1919 – Vol 53

Perth was on the Western side of the Doggerland outflow.

Perth is a city in central Scotland, located on the banks of the River Tay.

The name Perth derives from a Pictish word for wood or copse.

Perth’s Pictish name, and some archaeological evidence, indicate that there must have been a settlement here from earlier times, probably at a point where a river crossing or crossings coincided with a slightly raised natural mound on the west bank of the Tay (which at Perth flows north-south), thus giving some protection for settlement from the frequent flooding.,_Scotland#History

pur – a rampart, wall, stronghold, fortress, castle, city, town.

Scone was on the Eastern side of the Doggerland outflow.

Scone is a village in Perth and Kinross, Scotland.

Scotland itself was often called or shown on maps as the “Kingdom of Scone” (or “Sconiana”), Righe Sgoinde.

A comparison would be that Ireland was often called the “Kingdom of Tara”, Tara, like Scone, serving as a ceremonial inauguration site.,_Perth_and_Kinross

Scone was thus the centre of power in the ancient Kingdom of Alba, doubling up as the site of both Scottish coronations and parliaments.

The Kingdom of Alba refers to the Kingdom of Scotland between the deaths of Donald II (Domnall mac Causantin) in 900 and of Alexander III in 1286, which then led indirectly to the Scottish Wars of Independence.

The destruction of the Doggerland configuration at the Arabian Horizon [centred 637 CE] was the next step towards creating today’s Scotland.

The destruction of the Doggerland configuration enabled the Picts to flourish between the Arabian Horizon [637 CE] and the Heinsohn Horizon [912 CE].

The Picts were a tribal confederation of peoples who lived in what is today eastern and northern Scotland during the Late Iron Age and Early Medieval periods.

A Pictish confederation was formed in Late Antiquity from a number of tribes—how and why is not known. Some scholars have speculated that it was partly in response to the growth of the Roman Empire.

But the Picts were eventually eradicated early in the 2nd millennium.

Region  Scotland, north of the Forth-Clyde line
Extinct by c. 1100 AD

Pictish is the extinct language, or dialect, spoken by the Picts, the people of eastern and northern Scotland from the late Iron Age to the Early Middle Ages.


But it appears the migrants of the “Early Middle Ages” from further east than “Asia Minor” were marginalised and persecuted [primarily] by the owners of the Roman narrative.


The origins of the European Apartheid System have been traced back to the early years of the 2nd millennium when Christian records document a class of “untouchables”.


And their coronation stone was eventually acquired by the English crown [“spoils of war”].

The Stone of Scone — also known as the Stone of Destiny, and often referred to in England as The Coronation Stone — is an oblong block of red sandstone that was used for centuries in the coronation of the monarchs of Scotland, and later the monarchs of England and those of the United Kingdom.

Historically, the artefact was kept at the now-ruined Scone Abbey in Scone, near Perth, Scotland.

In 1296, the stone was captured by Edward I as spoils of war and taken to Westminster Abbey, where it was fitted into a wooden chair—known as King Edward’s Chair—on which most subsequent English and then British sovereigns have been crowned.

The British coronation chair has golden lions adorning its four legs in keeping with the Vedic Simhasan (i.e. the Lion seat) tradition.


The Coronation Chair, known historically as St Edward’s Chair or King Edward’s Chair, is an ancient wooden chair on which British monarchs sit when they are invested with regalia and crowned at their coronations.

The high-backed, Gothic-style armchair was carved from oak at some point between the summer of 1297 and March 1300 by the carpenter Walter of Durham.

At first, the king ordered for the chair to be made of bronze, but he changed his mind and decided it should be made of timber.


The Romans weren’t exuberant and irrational in Scotland.

The Roman Rent Seekers used their power to control and tax the Doggerland outflow until Mother Nature intervened.

Such is the course of human history.

This entry was posted in Arabian Horizon, British History, Catastrophism, Geology, Heinsohn Horizon, History, Inflating Earth, Language, Roman Chronology, Round Towers. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Shaping Roman Scotland

  1. Louis Hissink says:

    So why did the Romans build the Antonine wall, and have so many forts along it? What were they defending against? Who, what were the threat?

  2. malagabay says:

    What were they defending against?

    I haven’t reached that question yet.

    I’m still stuck on: Who were the Romans?

    This post suggests the history book stories are just that.

    So unscrambling the events and their sequence is a challenge.

    What’s clear is that someone invested heavily in barriers.

    When it comes to a barrier there is always the question of whether it was to keep people IN or to keep people OUT – a barrier cuts both ways.

  3. Louis Hissink says:

    The German limes are on Palaeozoic rocks, and walls are to keep things either out or in, depends on which side of the wall one is.

    Assuming the K-T catastrophe killed off the dinosaurs but allowed the mammalian mega fauna to survive, mountainous regions would have been stripped of regolith and soil, low lands would have been filled with the eroded upland sediment. That’s where the mega fauna would have been, food. But humans and mega fauna are sort of incompatible, (ask the Africans and Indians wrt tigers, lions and elephants etc) and human settlements would have been protected from the animals. Humans would have gone to the uplands to get away from the deluge that filled the lowlands.

    The Antonine wall then was presumably built to keep the animals out of the highlands.

    As Roman towns were walled, those were also to keep animals out.

    Who were the Romans? I’ve toyed with the idea they might have been the blond white peoples, Germans, Norwegians, Finns, Swedes etc,,

  4. Yry says:

    Smart aniGif of Doggerland. I’d always wondered about it.

    1- We suspect land masses can move rapidly, but that fast?!
    (What do their legends say about the physical factor(s) responsible?)

    2- Could the Doggerland moves have been responsible for the
    creation of the Channel separating France and Britain?
    (i.e. a sudden massive inflow of oceanic waters from the North)

    The previous articles were great reads.

  5. malagabay says:

    1. I don’t know about the speed…
    The raised beaches suggests it happened in [probably] 3 or 4 steps.
    The last step looks like it was associated with the final separation of Greenland from Scandinavia.


    2. I’m working on the England/France split at the moment… so hopefully next week.

  6. melitamegalithic says:

    This tells about speed ( and the doggerland event, 6200bce was one of several). I link to two posts; one shows calendars, that when built consecutively all were axially aligned to equinox sunrise point on horizon. There are two rotation events, CW. Link:

    Second link shows when rotation event took place, firs 5200bce then at 3200bce. Here: Look at ‘North Atlantic Ice Rafting’. They were abrupt. How abrupt? Listen to Plato: ‘But afterwards there occurred violent earthquakes and floods; and in a single day and night of misfortune all your warlike men in a body sank into the earth,’.

  7. Yry says:

    @ melitamegalithic:

    1- In reference to your data highlights below:

    Mass burials dated to around 5500BP in Northern Scotland and Scottish isles.

    Sahara changed abruptly from wet to dry. The date: 5500 BP.
    In the North Atlantic proxy the date is a sharper ~3550bce.

    ‘second phase’ of mass-burial related evidence was also identified; nearer
    to 3000bce. An event, 3195bce, had been identified in tree-rings.

    Termination appeared abrupt around 2200bce, by in-fill containing cattle
    bones; similar as elsewhere in the Mediterranean.
    Cause: Earth tilt at 2345bce, also evident in C/N and megalithic calendar.

    For mass burials, the root cause was a global event.


    2- ==> Some related questions:

    2a- Mass burials:
    do these refer to short-lived (secs) hyperviolent physical events such
    as the ‘World Drift’ crushing and plastering all animal and human lives
    into the smallest corner and rock crevice of the caves they sought
    refuge in? (Ref. ‘Ragnarok’ by Ignatius Donnelly 1883)

    2b- The “Voyage” of Doggerland:
    The dates you mention are useful as reference points across very long
    timelines, but I feel they cannot possibly apply for the duration of
    the northward & southward slide of Doggerland witnessed and acted upon
    by the Romans from beginning to end as researched by Tim Cullen.

    The time scale of this slide must have been around 3 centuries,
    I’d feel more comfortable with 2 centuries.

    2c- Earth tilt at 2345 bce:

    Not A Coincidence For Your Work!

    “The Earth was moved to near the Moon in 2349 BC.
    The orbit of Earth enlarged four times since 3147 BC: in 2349 BC, 2193 BC,
    1492 BC, and 747 BC. Each time the Earth reached a different location from
    the Sun, it needed to adjust its charge level, and plumes of plasma extended
    up from the magnetic poles, perhaps lasting for years. Venus caused the Absu
    [Egypt] to fall in 2349 BCE. [..] resulted in a sudden dispersal of the
    equatorial rings of the Earth, accompanied by storms, rains, and hurricanes,
    which became known in the Bible as the “Flood of Noah,” or, as the Sumerians
    and Akkadians called it, the “Flood after the Flood.”” — Jno Cook.
    See Appendix B, “Celestial Mechanics.”

    “The catastrophic flooding of China was dated to 2350 BC. The people of
    Mesoamerica also date one of the “creations of the world” to this time.”
    — Jno Cook.

    5800 BC – Black Sea flood.
    4077 BC – Saturn lights up.
    3147 BC – World flood, Jupiter on a steep mountain, 240-day year.
    3067 BC – 2750 BC: Mars (with Mercury) closes in on Earth 10 times.
    2860 BC – Jupiter enters the asteroid belt, loses its mountain form.
    2349 BC – September 8 – Contact by Venus, fall of the Absu, appearance of the
    Moon, 260-day year.
    2193 BC – Contact by Venus, 200 years of drought, 273-day year.
    2150 BC – Jupiter catches on fire.
    1936 BC – Contacts by Mars, Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed.
    — Jno Cook.

    Also this just in case:

    “The Mongol emperor ordered a new survey of the cities of China because
    East was no longer East, West was no longer West…., and although he
    ordered new instruments to be made, the need for the survey was so urgent
    they got the instruments made for the survey of 777 AD out of the museum.
    Clear evidence of an axial shift or crustal slip.” — (Nathan Sivin, author
    of “Granting the Seasons”).


    Cheers, Yry.

  8. melitamegalithic says:

    @ Yry. Allow me to start from Q 2c re Earth tilt and background.
    I found how the megalithic calendars work; by following the sunrise point on horizon. Reverse engineering led me to see how the design evolved. The structures hint to no firm date. Now the structural design is such that only a field of vision from solstice to solstice is allowed. But the angle solstice to solstice was always much smaller than required. First anomaly. Design evolution told a story of repeated cataclysms. All were ???? except that in one site it was modified (as it later appeared) to today’s obliquity. See

    Early enquiries led nowhere. Then Dodwell’s work appeared, but with a date I still doubted. Over the past couple of years confirmation of the dates came from a host of proxies. (My findings I published late Dec 2015, but confirmations came later and pending anomalies resolved).

    2a. They appear as “short-lived (secs) hyperviolent physical events”. Not just burials. Tarxien ‘temple’ was buried in sea sand, way inland; Ring of Brodgar in marine silt (if I recall correctly), and one can add Gobleki Tepe. The calendars indicate immediate rebuilding of adjacent new with a changed orientation (some 43 deg; not small; after 2200bce abrupt abandonment)

    2b. Slides happen anytime. But they also happen as collateral events as in 2a. Doggerland is not the only place that was cataclysmically effected at about the same time. See

    The rest of your comments are interesting. However I seek corroboration, preferably from more that three unrelated sources. The proxies from ice rafting and marine sediments happen to corroborate all identified events from 3 years earlier from megalithic calendars. Both indicate abrupt onset. That gets to be beyond coincidence.

    Ancient dating of a same event can vary from source to source (eg Maya Long Count calendar [5125yrs count cycle ending at Dec 2012] place start date cum destruction time, to ~3114 bce). Yet it still can be the same global event of 3195bce. I obtained a couple of precise dates from dendrochronolgy that were at the time unknown as to what they indicated or what they linked to. Both were corroborated and I hold them as reliable date markers.

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  10. craigm350 says:

    Dr. Schlüchter criticizes his critics for focusing on a time period which is “indeed too short.” His studies and analyses of a Rhone glacier area reveal that “the rock surface had [previously] been ice-free 5,800 of the last 10,000 years.”

    Such changes can occur very rapidly. His research team was stunned to find, near the edge of Mont Miné Glacier, trunks of huge trees which had all died in just a single year. They determined that time to be 8,200 years ago based upon oxygen isotopes in the Greenland ice which showed marked cooling.

    Notable that it uses the Greenland isotopes. So when was it?

  11. malagabay says:

    Another gem.

    In fact, the Alps were nearly glacier-free again about 2,000 years ago.
    Schlüchter points out that, “the forest line was much higher than it is today; there were hardly any glaciers. Nowhere in the detailed travel accounts from Roman times are glaciers mentioned.”

    Thank you.

  12. Interesting piece. Note how the same dates always show up. The “8,200 years ago” is the well known 8k2 event. It corresponds to a root in the Eddy cycle (origin ???). It was the onset of abrupt polar warming recorded in both Greenland and Antarctic isotopes, concurrent with a cooling in equatorial isotopes (Kilimanjaro).

    A similar repeat occurred some 4300 years ago, when isotopes again indicate abrupt polar warming but equatorial cooling. This was confirmed – or rather first indicated – by what Profs Lonnie Thompson had found as sudden frozen plants at the now retreating edge of the Quelccaya ice cap. Incidentally GF Dodwell first indicated a reason why so.

    As if to hammer the fact home Ceres apparently has changed its tilt from 4deg (Wiki data) to 36deg, here:

  13. Pls remove due in above post; its a misleading mistake.

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