Rural Research

Subheadings: Introduction|Resources|

These are exciting times for archaeology in Scotland. In a recent speech, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop compared archaeology to a certain brand of beer in its ability to reach parts that other disciplines cannot. Certainly, archaeology plays an important part in the estimated £2.3 billion that the historic environment contributes to Scotland’s national gross value added. But as well as economic and tourism benefits archaeology contributes to education, community well-being and a sense of place. Public interest in their hidden past remains high and next year will see a country-wide celebration of Scottish archaeology – Dig It! 2015. On a policy level, the new Historic Environment Strategy will be followed by a dedicated Archaeology Strategy.

Parkneuk © Forestry Commission Scotland

Caithness laser scan © AOC Archaeology Ltd

 

Collaborative by nature, archaeology continues to tell Scotland’s story and technology is opening up a new research frontier. For example, terrestrial laser scanning enables us to record and visualise surviving archaeology, such as at Parkneuk (pictured © Forestry Commission Scotland), a prehistoric ‘four poster’ stone circle. This work was arranged in partnership with the landowner, Forestry Commission Scotland, AOC Archaeology, and Historic Scotland. On the northern coast of Caithness a whole landscape is being reconstructed by laser scanning from the air (pictured © AOC Archaeology Ltd). The results reveal an entire landscape full of traces of past settlement and farming.

There are lots of resources and expertise to call on if you are interested in archaeology, particularly in a rural context. This is not an exhaustive list, we hope to add to it in the future. If you have a suggestion for an addition, please leave it as a comment below or email scarf@socantscot.org

 Organisation Overview  Website  
Archaeology Scotland: Rural Landuse ScARF reccomend that you start here! An excellent resource page with lots of links and reading.   http://www.archaeologyscotland.org.uk/our-projects/rural-land-use  
Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers (Scotland) The Association provides a forum representing archaeologists working for local authorities and national parks throughout the UK. Its members are senior professional archaeologists employed by local authorities to provide advice on archaeological conservation and management.   http://www.algao.org.uk/membership#scotland  
CANMORE Canmore is the heart of the RCAHMS archive. It provides searchable, map-based information on buildings and archaeological sites throughout Scotland.   http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/  
Historic Landuse Assessment The HLA is a joint project between Historic Scotland and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS). It is enhancing our understanding of the historic dimension of landscape and will help shape our approaches to its management.  http://jura.rcahms.gov.uk/HLA/Map  
Historic Scotland Landscape information Historic Scotland information page with external links of interest.  http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/index/heritage/valuingourheritage/historiclandscapes.htm  
Local Authority Historic Environment Records      

PASTMAP

PastMap is an interactive mapping service which offers a single point of entry into five major databases covering the built environment in Scotland.   http://www.rcahms.gov.uk/pastmap.html  
Scotland’s Rural Past Scotland's Rural Past was a five year initiative, run by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) with partnership funding. The project, which ran from October 2006 to September 2011, worked with local communities to research, record and promote Scotland's vanishing historic rural settlements and landscapes. http://www.scotlandsruralpast.org.uk/