Andrew Millard

Andrew Millard

I'm Associate Professor of Archaeology at Durham University. I coordinated the scientific analysis for the Scottish Soldiers Project, and did some historical research on the site and in New England.


  • Building work stopped during the main part of the archaeological excavation. Part of the work was cooperative, where underpinnning took place archaeologists excavated a section, the builders filled it with concrete and then the archaeologists moved to the next section.

  • We retained small samples for DNA testing. A pilot analysis has shown it is well preserved, but now we need to raise funds to do more detailed work.

  • We retained small samples for DNA testing. A pilot analysis has shown it is well preserved, but now we need to raise funds to do more detailed work.

  • Making DNA connections will be very hard work. For the remains from those killed at Fromelles in 1916, where there is a list of names of men who fought, only 96 of the 250 have been identified via genealogical DNA matching. Trying to do that over a period four times longer and without any names to go on will be much harder. It is possible that we could...

  • We don't have an exact figure for those returned home, it's just recorded that is was all those who were still there in July 1652. There is likely to have been some selection of the men who were indentured by those taking them away. Certainly with those taken to the Fens, a selection was made (see Step 4.3)

  • They would almost certainly have followed the road from Beriwck to Newcastle that is now the A1. We know they were ar Berwick, Alnwick, Morpeth and Newcastle. This letter is the only account we have of the march. There were 23 buried in Newcastle, which we know because the town had to pay the gravedigger, but the nature of the grave(s) is unknown.

  • If we can find a venue, it can be shipped anywhere.

  • I'm afraid you have to visit the exhibition!

  • I don't think we can tell. In this period, as today, the range of meanings of 'naughty' included both wicked and promiscuous

  • None that we know of.

  • The 19,000 that was attempted to be raised is in the records of the Committee of Estates. We don't know how many were actually raised, though it was clearly much fewer. Various estimates have been made, based on the number of units known to have been active. It is the names of the commanders that give us the most information about the likely recruitment places.

  • I don't know about other courses, but there is more detail of these things in our book, "Lost Lives, New Voices: Unlocking the Stories of the Scottish Soldiers at the Battle of Dunbar 1650". It is currently being reprinted, bu you may find a few copies left at some online retailers.

  • We considered DNA, but it wouldn't have told us much more about where they came from, and nothing about their lives. It is also much more expensive for ancient DNA than the type of test you do for genetic genealogy. However, we have retained samples for future work if we get funding.

  • @DianaStevens No, it's at Dunbar until March 2020

  • @RosB There is a lot that depends on context. Remains being returned abroad were often acquired in dubious circumstances, without permission in that place, so where a request for return is made by the community they came from that is usually respected.

    Until the development of permanent grave markers in the 17th to 19th centuries Christian burials...

  • An anachronism certainly, and one that none of us involved picked up. Until your comment I knew the name of the town but not its history, and it seemed to me to fit well in a list of places recruits could have come from. I think this shows one of the challenges of this sort of writing: there are many details that can catch out the writer. Assumptions from our...

  • Generally when planning permission is requested an local authority archaeologist will comment on whether that permission should include a requirement for archaeological investigation. On large sites developers may do some investigation work before applying. In historic towns there will almost always be a requirement, which could be full excavation or, as with...

  • Excavating the minimum necessary is the national guideline (see step 1.5). Some of them extended under adjacent 17th century buildings, so excavating them all would have required demolition of those historic buildings. There were practical and legal limits to what can be excavated.

  • @MichaelGlover The best list incorporating the latest research is here:

  • For those asking about the travelling exhibition:

    In the UK it is currently at the Dunbar Townhouse until mid-March and then going to the Cromwell Museum in Huntingdon opening 5 May.

    In the US the exhibition is opening next at Counting House Museum of the Old Berwick Historical...

  • Most of the battlefield is farmland. There are sufficient tracks and paths to allow access by car and then foot to Doon Hill. Apart from the display boards mentioned in this piece there is not much to be seen except the lie of the land. There have been no finds on the battlefield itself, except casual finds of lead shot by some farmers. There's potential for...

  • @WendyTait email me at and I will put you in touch with the Scottish Battlefields Trust

  • The password is immediately under the 'click here' link to the film on the Origins website.

  • Thanks for finding this @KathC it must have been made available since I last looked at the site.

  • The cast was two women and a man. The women played (male) soldiers as well as roles as soldiers' mothers and nurses, and an archaeologist and a narrator.

  • There is a duty to report the discovery of human remains to the police/coroner but if they are satistified that they are archaeological rather than from recent decades, they will take no further action.

  • @PamelaR There's an explanation of the basis for possession of a body for burial in English Law here

  • Some inventories do go room by room. For example, from John Upton's we can infer a house of two storeys

  • No German or Dutch as far north as Maine. It is more likely that the English settlers had adapted to the local climate. With winters much colder than in Britain, they needed better insulated houses with cellars under them for storing food through the winter. They also had an effectively unlimited supply of timber, so could develop modes of construction not...

  • None of them returned as far as we can tell.

  • It's in the downloads section as a pdf

  • Its quite complex. This paper may give you an idea for proteins

  • Measurement error bars are smaller than the points in this type of plot, typically +/-0.00001 or smaller.

  • Other bones will give an average over several years to decades before death (the timescale depends on age). They may have been useful for the oldest man, but otherwise we got better temporal resolution using the teeth.

  • NAA can only access certain isotopes and can't give us the precise measurements we need for this. After NAA the sample is radioactive waste, so there are also issues with safety of workers and with disposal. The number of research nuclear reactors is also declining worldwide, so NAA is becoming rarer.

  • The cutting disc is not sharp as it works by abrasion. To cut yourself you have to press quite firmly against the skin, so it is difficult to do it accidentally. On the other hand the disc is spinning very fast and if it comes into contact with a latex or nitrile glove the elastic force is enough to make the drill ping off uncontrollably. So in my 25 years...

  • We extended the idea of wiggle matching to teeth in this study by sampling parts of the teeth that would have formed abotu 10 years apart.

  • The main exhibition described here has finished, but there is now a smaller permanent display. There are also travelling exhibitions in the UK and USA.

  • @KathC It used to be that retention was almost a default, but practice has shifted in recent years so that there is more reburial happening, though it is less frequent for pre-Christian remains. There is national guidance for England, and an advisory panel that can be consulted on specific cases....

  • In law it is only the living who have rights. Data protection rights, for example, don't apply to the dead. So the idea of rights for the dead needs to be agreed and the extent of it worked out. As the discussion in this weeks steps shows, there is a lot of variation in what people consider ethical treatment of the dead.

  • For most European states, there are similar requirements for archaeological finds, based on the Valletta Convention.

  • The comments here show a wide range of views, which reflect many of those in wider society. You can see how even when we are all agreed that human remains should be treated with dignity and respect, our interpretations of that vary. Archaeologists excavating and studying human remains have to consider all these and try to balance them. As Charlotte says,...

  • This could conceivably be done but would require an enormous effort. The DNA analysis and identification of relatives for matching of 250 men buried at Fromelles in the First World War, with a restricted list of possible identities, cost several million pounds and has so far identified 96 of them. We have 10x fewer men but more than 3x the timespan to research...

  • Several people have asked about the requirement for screening from public view versus showing the excavation on television. The licence condition is usually interpreted as requiring that the actual process is not done 'live' in full public view, but is not taken to apply to showing photographs or a recording of the process. In part, this is to prevent anybody...

  • Skeleton is used of any animal. Complete animal skeletons are less common in archaeology than human ones, but they are occasionally found.

  • They had fermented drinks made from maize, but the Europeans introduced much greater quantities of fermented drinks and stronger distilled alcoholic drinks.

  • There are several novels. We'll discuss them in week 6.

  • You can see the full joint lecture by Pam Graves and Emerson Baker

  • Only a small proportion were professional soldiers. Most were men called up only a few months previously.

  • @MichaelBurt I hadn't looked into this before. It seems agricultural labourers' wages in this period averaged 10-12d per day. These figures comes from a long an complex paper on wages, but Table 1 and Figure 2 show this farily clearly.

    They would not have worked, or been paid, for Sundays.

  • We don't know much about what they thought about staying in America, though we do have the testimony of one of them that sums up how they may have seen the advantages of staying. A merchant from Aberdeen met one of the men and reported: "… our Countryman who was sent away by Cromwell to New England, a slave from Dunbar. Living now in Woodbridge like a Scots...

  • There was no will, this inventory was sworn by the administrator of his estate. As you suggest he was probably widowed. The division of his estate is detailed in a series of receipts, which are transcribed here

  • @IanDownie Note that the birthplaces are aways 'possible' or 'claimed'. For these men we have no solid evidence, these are usually claims that are first documented in the late 19th or early 20th century.

  • @JulietJohnston He doesn't say back home in England, just back home

  • The modern spelling of 'carage' is 'carriage', and it is in the sense "Manner of acting to or towards others; treatment of others."

  • The term hulk is used from at least 1671 for "The body of a dismantled ship (worn out and unfit for sea service) retained in use as a store-vessel, for the temporary housing of crews, for quarantine or other purposes" (OED) The earliest references are to the hulk of Drake's Golden Hind at Deptford.

  • As many of you note, this is a bit of a mystery. The men were to serve under a Colonel Rookbie, and we do have a record of the issue of pass for him to go overseas with the men, and some time later a pass for his horses to go as well. To trace them after that we need to delve into French records, and to be able to distinguish these Scots from other Scottish...

  • Malaria
    There are several parasites that cause malaria, but only one thrives in temperate climates, Plasmodium vivax. Malaria was probably endemic in the fens of East Anglia and other marshy coastal areas of southern England from Roman times until the 19th century. Historically it was referred to as ague. If you are really interested there is a whole PhD...

  • Since this was written there has been more research into the prisoners in the fens. The 1000 Scots prisoners seems to be a total. The first to arrive were prisoners from the Battle of Worcester (3 Sep 1651). As to their living conditions, we know that the Company of Adventurers made payments for lodgings, but there are later references to huts and tents, which...

  • Scotland didn't adopt the Gregorian calendar until 1752. In 1600 they made 1 January the official start of the year, but they did not change anything else.

  • Officers
    Haselrigge is saying that Cromwell released some officers at Dunbar. The phrasing of his letter is ambiguous about the fate of the 60 officers, and the ellipsis here doesn't help. They may have died. They may have been sent as servants. They may have still been imprisoned.

    Did the men sent as servants return to Scotland?
    We have no idea. The...

  • Tied colliers
    Several have asked about the status of colliers. They, and their children, were bound to a specific mine owner and could not leave their employment without permission. The Scottish Mining Website provides a good account (Thanks @CaroleSturgiss for the link!)

    Why suggest some to go to Chester?

  • The officers had been separated from the other prisoners in Newcastle on the march south. They seem to have been held at Tynemouth Castle, and some were still there in 1655.

  • It is amongst the personal papers of the Haselrigge family whose seat was in Leicestershire. Hence when the papers were deposited at an archive in the 20th century they ended up there.

  • Yes he advanced on Edinburgh and then on up through to the Highlands.

  • No, information filtered back to Scotland through people who had contacts. Some messengers might have been sent to find out about the condition of the officers, or merchants trading from Scotland to Newcastle may have been able to get news of the prisoners and take it back.

    The idea of state compensation was not new. England had a system for those from the...

  • @SharronBarfield Yes, although estimates vary it is generally agreed. The National Archive pages says civil war deaths were "about 3.6% of the population. (In World War 1 around 2.6% of the population died)"

  • The Pace Building is on the site of an old quarry, which became a garden in the late 17th century. Before it was built there was a drop of over 2 metres where the red line is just to the west of the burial.

  • You can probably 'print to pdf' or 'convert to pdf' in your browser.

  • The destitute and poor within a parish could have appealed for payments from parish funds. There are records of some widows of Dunbar casualties who were granted this relief. These funds were not appropriate for sending to prisoners, so a special appeal had to be made.

  • See
    Although the absolute number of casualties was higher in the First World War, the population was also much larger.

  • @TrishCarter To improve their condition. The fundraising call was all about the poor conditions the prisoners were living in. It's clear that when money was sent, it went to the officers themselves and the carrier of the money would often return with a receipt from the officers. The sums raised are not enough to pay a large number of ransoms.

  • Probably 30 seconds. Men would be arrayed so that each rank would fire and then drop back for the next one. With 5 or 6 ranks they could maintain continuous fire.

  • The reconstruction was based on tissue depth values for a male aged 18-29 with BMI<20. The latter was deliberately to try to represent his likely low body weight. I'm afraid I don't know enough about the process to know what other options there might have been.

  • @MargaretLing As theya re youg, not really. Deliberate and natural tooth loss is much more a feature of old age than youth.

  • @MicheleD This is from The Rites of Durham, a manuscript which was kept by an unknown, but clearly local, Catholic family.

  • DNA can often be found in bones. In the calculus we were primarily looking for food and disease DNA, and the human DNA was a secondary consideration.

  • If you watch the video full-screen there are only about 7 words across the screen. The pdf transcript can be blown up as large as you like.

  • On a computer you should be able to right-click, select to view just the image and print it out. Or if you have the book Lost Lives New Voices, it is on p.130.

  • The Puritans identified themselves as C of E but considered some of the C of E practices as insufficiently reformed from Papism. They were called Puritans because they aimed to purify the C of E. Before the civil war there had been strident debates in the C of E, with the Puritans gradually losing ground after Archbishop Laud was appointed by Charles I.

  • @NeilMacpherson The 'back to Newcastle' reference seems to me slightly out of place, it refers to what happened after the majority of the men left Newcastle. St Nicholas Church was the largest church in Newcastle. The quote about the Abbey Church comes from an addition to the Roman Catholic manuscript 'The Rites of Durham', and is a 17th century Roman Catholic...

  • The triangles are sometimes above and sometimes below. I suspect they are the colours of the units. These banners were important to allow men to regroup in the confusion of the battle.

  • I don't think there would have been much sympathy for the Scots in Newcastle, as only 6 years before they had laid siege to the town. After that James Lumsden had been made governor of Newcastle for 3 years; now he was one of the senior Scottish commanders at Dunbar.

  • 17th century military billetting
    Billetting of troops on townsfolk was standard practice for all sides in the civil wars. Charles I's army was billetted on the people of Oxford 1642-46, and there is good evidence for increased deaths due to disease when they were there. In 1644 some of the Scots army had been billetted on the people of Durham. Before marching...

  • Recruitment
    The army was composed of what today might be called conscripts. All men between 16 and 60 years of age were liable for military service, and when the Committee of Estates in Edinburgh called a levy, officials in each county were responsible for identifying the men who could be sent and the number that needed to remain. So while there may have been...

  • Ideological purges
    The ideological purges of the Scottish army saw men barred for various reasons. When officers were barred, their men often went with them.
    Most of those purged had previously fought as Engagers, fighting for Charles I against the Covenanters. The most prominent of these men had been purged in June 1650, or had not even been allowed to join...

  • Appropriate soil samples were taken and examined but yielded nothing.

  • Most of these diseases leave no trace on the bones, so we cannot detect them from skeletons.

  • When excavated they are often articulated, and can be excavated as an individual. In a mass grave like this it is more difficult. This excavation was very skilfully done. Despite that there were some bones lifted as one individual which proved to be two in the lab. There were also many bones excavated that could not be assigned to an individual.

  • Perhaps these additional resources will help:
    A short but more detailed introduction:
    An older website but with a lot of information

  • This is true. We allowed for the possible effect of marine foods in our calculations. The stable isotope carbon-13 tells about marine foods. In this case the marine proportion of the diet was only 5-12%, much less than in the Repton vikings.

  • @IanHutchinson 1950 was chosen to keep consistency with the first publication of radiocarbon dates in December 1949. Otherwise we would have to know when a date was measured to compare it to other dates.

  • @JuliaElliott That programme will have been Bone Detectives, where the main researcher was our Durham colleague Becky Gowland, but there was also an appearance by Anwen who did the analysis of the bones from Palace Green.

  • @FrancesTogneri Coal mining was economically significant in Scotland in the 16th and 17th centuries. There are multiple mentions of it in that Wikipedia article.

  • Many of you have commented on the young age of the skeletons. We have to bear in mind that in England and Scotland for centuries all men aged 16-60 were liable for military service. As we will see in Week 3 (and John Kinninmont commented) there are other reasons why Scotland was short of men of military service age in 1650. But in this research process we...

  • @BrentChippendale If we were doing this today we would very likely use the peptide sexing method. It was developed by a team that included some Durham colleagues. But it hadn't been invented when we did this.

  • That's the second button from the left, a speaker icon.