Dumfriesshire having been done from the west, to find not a single example of cup-
and-ring markings in this county. One stone only was met with on which occur
markings probably belonging to this class, and that was a detached slab (fig. 2) form-
ing the sill of the doorway into the vaulted basement of Hollows Tower (No. 43) in
Canonbie Parish. In place of cup and rings, spirals are traced on it, and it bears a
considerable resemblance to a stone from the Island of Eday, Orkney, found in what
appears to have been a chambered cairn and now in the National Museum of Anti-
quities, Edinburgh. ¹ The provenance of the stone at Hollows Tower is unknown.
Defensive Constructions. - The remains in this county which fall to be considered
under this heading number 220. These may be separated into two distinct classes,
viz. those whose main purpose has been, by choice of situation and construction
of defences, the prevention or repulsion of attack, and consequently are "forts";

[Diagram inserted]
Fig. 2. - Spiral-marked Slab, Hollows Tower.

and others which, though
possessing certain features
of defence, combine with
these elements of conceal-
ment such as would in
troublous times be applic-
able in pastoral districts to
shelters for sheep and cattle.
These latter not being actu-
ally forts have been desig-
nated merely "enclosures."
To the first class belong 143
constructions; to the
second, 77. Taking a sur-
vey from the west across
the county, and commenc-
ing with Nithsdale, we find
in that region forts only,
numbering 25; in Annan-
dale we find 94 forts, but
also 37 enclosures; while in Eskdale and Ewesdale we meet with only 24 forts, but as
many as 40 enclosures. In one or two cases all over classification may be doubtful.
The lack of definite knowledge regarding the period of erection of the forts in
this country, owing to the limited amount of excavation which has thus far been
done on them, renders the synthesis of these structures in any manner which may
be illuminating a matter of no little difficulty. The usual method of consider-
ing them mainly according to the physical qualities of the sites they occupy, does
not afford much help, for we have no reason to suppose that the people who occupied
a promontory, if in their immediate neighbourhood, would not as readily have drawn
their lines of defence in a geometrical figure around the crest of some swelling ridge
had it been nearer at hand and equally suitable. There are, fortunately, a few out-
standing facts which act as guide-posts along the ill-defined track which we have
to follow in our endeavour to pick out and set in some order the relations of these
constructions to the prehistoric periods. The Roman fort or camp is, with rare
exceptions, in form a rectangular oblong with the corners rounded; the camp of

1 Proc. Soc. Ant. Scot., iv. p. 186.

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