Daily Archives: January 26, 2015

The Traprain Treasure



After a good ol’ rave at Messenger Sound System at the New Bongo in Edinburgh, plus a spot of comedy at the Stand, later on today I’ll be heading to East Lothian. Before I go I’ll write up a recent discovery of mine as regards the famous Traprain Treasure, a hoard of Roman silver found at Traprain Law, the ancient capital of the Votadini tribe. Speculations have abounded as to why the silver arrived at Traprain c.400 AD, when the Votadini at that time were no longer under Roman jurisdiction. The answer, however, is quite simple.


The first steps in the solution involves recognizing the pattern on the shields of several Roman units, as given in the 5th century Notitia Dignitatum, is identical to the following piece of silverware.


This image was created by Alice Blackwell, based on fragments of the dish being found in the hoard, & their massive similarities with a dish found in Switzerland. One is immediately reminded of the Honariana Attecotti Seniores, a unit of troops drawn from the Attacotti, a hitherto unplaced tribe of Scotland. ‘Honarian’ means they represented Emperor Honorious (395-423 AD), whose coins are the last dated in the Traprain treasure. With the Honariana Attecotti Seniores coming under the Roman Italian command, then  we have credible support for the dish at Traprain being the same as the one found in Switzerland.


Traprain Law

Now then, its time for a little Chispology. Watch what happens to the word Attacotti…

Atta- Cott





Otadini (Ptolmey)& Gododdin (Aneirin) are  both names for the Votadini tribe, & it seems that the two elements of the name were reversed to produce Attacotti, in the same fashion that Maglocunos was also Cunomorus.  Their mentions in history are mainly in the 4th century, when Ammianus Marcellinus places them attacking Roman Britain alongside the Picts & Scots between 364 & 368. Thus, all logic tells us that after this war, the Otadini/Attacotti were recruited into the Roman legions, bought off with Roman silver, some of which was buried at Traprain.