Scotlands History

Votadini and Traprain Law

The Votadini were a tribe of Britons that traded with the Romans. They had a large settlement around Traprain Law, in East Lothian, with territory extending across the Lothians. 

Traprain Law, once called Dumpender Law, is a massive volcanic hill that towers above the flat farmlands of East Lothian. Bronze-Age artifacts have been found on the hill and there are Neolithic cup and ring marks on its rocks. The Iron-Age Votadini settlement around Traprain was made up of hundreds of roundhouses; homes for families including Iron-Age craftspeople skilled in enamel and metal work.

Excavations at the site in 1919 uncovered Roman silver; wine jugs, goblets, coins and military buckles – much of it cut, as if ready for melting down.  The coins from Gaul showed that the Votadini may have had trading links with the continent. It is not clear if the hoard was stolen, or a bribe or payment from the Romans. 

The Traprain Treasure and other artifacts from Traprain are on display at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

The descendants of the Votadini were the Gododdin who had their great stronghold at Din Eidyn – Edinburgh.

  • A photograph of a piece of Roman table silver found near Traprain Law

Click on the image to view a larger version.