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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 June 2006, 23:55 GMT 00:55 UK
World Heritage bid hope for wall
The Antonine Wall
The wall marked the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire
Scotland's culture minister has thrown her weight behind the bid to make the Antonine Wall a World Heritage Site.

Patricia Ferguson said the wall, at one time the most northern frontier of the Roman Empire, was "an outstanding archaeological treasure".

Five local authorities are also supporting the bid, which was officially launched in 2003.

The Antonine Wall runs 37 miles from Bo'ness, near Falkirk, to Old Kilpatrick in West Dunbartonshire.

The support signing ceremony was witnessed by archaeologists from several European countries who were in Scotland for a conference on the Frontiers of the Roman Empire.

The wall was built in 140AD to keep Pictish warriors out of the Roman Empire after the conquest of southern Scotland.

Patricia Ferguson
This touch of Roman civilisation in central Scotland is a reminder of the many European links of our country
Patricia Ferguson
Culture Minister

Speaking at a reception at Bearsden Burgh Hall, Ms Ferguson said the wall was of national and international importance.

The minister praised East Dunbartonshire, Falkirk, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire councils for formally pledging their support to winning World Heritage Site status.

She added: "This touch of Roman civilisation in central Scotland is a reminder of the many European links of our country.

"Archaeology, history, religion, law and education all provide strong traditional and living associations between Scotland and many of the countries represented here."

Roman invasion

Under the title Frontiers of the Roman Empire, a multi-national bid will be put forward incorporating the Antonine Wall, sites in Germany, Austria, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary, as well as Hadrian's Wall.

The Antonine Wall was built after the Romans invaded southern and central Scotland almost 2,000 years ago.

It became a monument to the reign of Emperor Antonius Pius but was abandoned after just a generation, about 160AD.

Scotland's existing four World Heritage sites are Edinburgh's Old and New towns, the St Kilda archipelago, New Lanark and Orkney's "Neolithic Heart".




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Hear about the international importance of the wall



SEE ALSO
Roman wall heritage bid backing
14 Jun 05 |  Scotland
Roman wall builds heritage claim
22 Feb 03 |  Scotland
Film boost for Roman ruin
25 Jun 02 |  England
What is a World Heritage site?
06 Apr 99 |  UK News

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