March 2019



To celebrate the end of the ScARF Museums project, we are hosting two days of free events at the Discovery Centre, Mintlaw, Aberdeenshire on the 16th and 17th April. Please get in touch to find our more and to secure your place.


The Perth and Kinross Archaeology Research Framework (PKARF) has a new website! Take a look here to find out more about the project.

Save the date of the 30th August 2019 if you are interested in joining us for the Priorities in Progess conference to be held in Perth. More details will be announced soon.

February 2019


The latest edition of the ScARF e-newlsetter is now available here. Take a look to hear about all the latest news!

January 2019


The opening symposium for Scotland's Island Research Framework of Archaeology or SIRFA took place from the 7th - 11th January 2019 in North Uist and Benbecula. Thank you to everyone who was able to make the trip and took part in the workshops. All the notes and discussions from the sessions are being written up and will form the basis for the new Western Isles framework. Check out the SIRFA website for more information or get in touch if you would like to be involved in the project. 












December 2018

18/12/18 The last ScARF newletter of the year is now available here with all the latest news.

Remember that Scotland's Island Research Framework of Archaeology or SIRFA Website is now live! Go and visit to find out all about the regional research framework for the Western Isles, Shetland and Orkney. The details of the opening Western Isles Symposium which takes place from the 7th - 11th January 2019 have also been added to the website. It will be a great (if maybe slightly dark and cold!) week in Uist for anyone interested in the archaeology of the Islands.  

October 2018

07/10/18 The Highland Archaeology Festival is being held this month with a great program of events including the Highland Archaeology Conference which is being held on the 13th and 14th October in Inverness. ScARF will be there on the Saturday so please come and ask about how you can get involved with the Highland Archaeology Research Framework.

19/09/18 The South East Scotland Archaeological Research Framework (SESARF) Project is now looking for feedback and contributions to their draft documents. Everything you need to know is available here - including briefing documents, draft versions of nine period chapters and preliminary figures. Please take some time to have a look and contribute if you can. Further documents will be added here soon.

September 2018

19/09/18 The South East Scotland Archaeological Research Framework (SESARF) Project is now looking for feedback and contributions to their draft documents. Everything you need to know is available here - including briefing documents, draft versions of nine period chapters and preliminary figures. Please take some time to have a look and contribute if you can. Further documents will be added here soon.

August 2018

06/08/18 We are pleased to announce that work has started on the the latest regional research framework. At the start of August Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust began a three year project to create an archaeological research framework (ARF) for the Perth and Kinross region. This means that, alongside the South-East Scotland ARF, the Highlands ARF and the Three Islands ARF, there are now four regional framework projects currently in progress. 

July 2018

12/07/18  The South East Scotland Archaeological Research Framework - Draft (Part 1) has been released for contributions. If you have already expressed an interest in providing feedback or a case study then you should have received an email with links to all the documents. If anyone else would like to contribute or have suggestions for interesting case studies please get in touch with the SESARF team - details here

02/07/18  We are pleased to announce the start of the Three Islands Research Framework (Orkney, Shetland and Western Isles). The process to develop a new regional research framwork for the Islands is set to begin at the first week of July 2018 and will be led by Dr Rebecca Rennell at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). The first year will concentrate on developing a framework for the Western Isles, the second year will be devoted to Shetland and the final year will culminate in Orkney. Watch this space for news of a launch event and how you can get involved!

June 2018

03/06/18 The opening Symposium to launch the three year project to create a Highland Archaeological Research Framework took place in Inverness this weekend - more details about the HighARF can be found at

May 2018

28/05/18   Our new ScARF Project Manager has joined us today. Please welcome Helen Spencer to the fold!

April 2018

27/04/18   The latest skills workshop, all about Zooarchaeology was held today in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh. Another successful workshop with excellent discussions throughout.

27/04/18  Consultation open on Scotland's Archaeolgoical Periods and Ages (ScAPA)

24/04/18   Brand new case study for Future Thinking on Scotland's Carved Stones now available at

09/04/18   Applications for the post of ScARF Project Manager have now closed.

March 2018

26/03/18   The March e-newsletter is now out and available at

16/03/18   The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland are currently recruiting for a Project Manager see the vacancy at

February 2018

07/03/18   The e-newsletter for February is now available at

January 2018

29/01/18   The e-newsletter for January is now available at

17/01/18   The Call for Papers for EAA 2018 is now available. The ScARF team are co-organising a session with Historic England and the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands and are now inviting abstract submissions. More information at


Calendar - for a list of lectures and events related to research in Scottish archaeology.

News Archive - ScARF news archive from 2012 - 2017.

e-newsletter archive - view the archived ScARF e-newsletters


Science in Scottish archaeology: realising the vision

March 2014: The Science panel of the Scottish Archaeological Research Framework (ScARF) set out an exciting vision for science in Scottish archaeology. The ambition is for archaeological science in Scotland to be a world-leader, achieved through partnership and collaboration, and building on existing strengths and expertise. The vision outlines the need to increase scientific research capacity in Scotland, create a network of specialists willing to work together, and hold workshops addressing ‘hot-spot’ areas of archaeological science. We are now working collaboratively on steps towards realising this vision.

For example, the co-Chairs of the ScARF Science Panel (Dr Richard Jones & Dr Karen Milek of Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities respectively) are working with the Society and Historic Scotland on ways to develop the network of archaeological specialists. The first phase is the creation of a Directory of Archaeological Scientists – a first of its kind in Europe – which is currently being developed by Landward Research Ltd. This will provide a virtual network of archaeological scientists and aims to improve communication between scientists and field practitioners, resulting in better integration of scientific techniques. The online portal, to be hosted on the ScARF website, will comprise a directory of scientists able to work on Scottish materials (identifying their areas of specialist expertise) and resources for potential use by archaeological scientists working on Scottish materials. Fellows with archaeological scientific expertise are encouraged to contact Landward Research Ltd - The project is overseen by an Advisory Board, comprising specialists from different archaeological science areas across Scotland, many of whom contributed to the Science Panel report.

Other activity is focusing on aspects of archaeological science in need of further attention, often in terms of profile-raising or addressing skills gaps. Dr Richard Jones, for example, recently organised a workshop on lithics research (you can download the notes from the workshop here), focusing on science-based techniques and methodologies. The event, arranged around talks, demonstrations and discussion groups, was attended by archaeologists and scientists from commercial units, universities and museums. It had the aims of encouraging more science-based analysis of lithic artefacts, telling us more about how they were used and where they were sourced. The workshop also looked at the role of experimental work and methodological issues such as recovery and sampling.

Creating the directory and hosting targeted workshops are the first steps in helping us, as a sector, identify what resources are required to ensure Scottish archaeological science achieves the rich potential set out through ScARF.

Rebecca Jones, Richard Jones, Karen Milek & Jeff Sanders March 2014

(Historic Scotland, Glasgow University, Aberdeen University & Society of Antiquaries of Scotland)