ScARF’s 10th Anniversary

In November 2022, we celebrated 10 years since the launch of the National ScARF with an event exploring the Past, Present and Future of the Scottish Archaeological Research Framework. The one-day event took place at Augustine United Church in Edinburgh, as well as being live-streamed on Zoom for those joining us from home.

A presenter stands on the alter in front of an audience of 50 people, with screens on either side of her.
Sally Foster offers the audience an insight into the Future Thinking on Carves Stones in Scotland framework

Event programme

After an introduction by ScARF Project Manager, Dr. Helen spencer, we enjoyed talks in three sessions by key ScARF contributors, from the original steering group to those managing our most recent regional framework projects (such as PKARF and SIRFA).


The first session explored the birth of the project – from the original idea, the project to create the original National ScARF, as well as the following project to add the first new thematic framework – Future thinking on Carved Stones in Scotland – to the ScARF resource.

Session speakers:

Simon Gilmour, Director Society of Antiquaries of Scotland – A look back at the conception of ScARF

Jeff Sanders, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and first ScARF project Manager – Creating ScARF

Diana Murray, Steering Group member of the original ScARF project – Reflections on the creation of the national ScARF

Sally Foster, University of Stirling – Future Thinking on Carved Stones

The ‘Past’ session recording is available on the Society of Antiquaries YouTube channel here.

25 people enjoy coffee and biscuits while chatting to one another in the back of the church hall.
Discussions continued during the coffee break


The second session was about the current projects ongoing at ScARF, hearing from some of our recently completed and current projects – in particular the regional research frameworks – and the perspective of people in different parts of the sector involved in these recent projects.

This session was a summary of recent work in the past few years and ScARF’s latest regional framework projects. Plus, a perspective from Andy Heald from an applied ‘development’ archaeology perspective and as the current chair of Scotland’s Strategic Archaeology Committee who lead on Scotland’s Archaeology Strategy.

Session speakers:

Helen Spencer, ScARF Project Manager – ScARF in 2022 – where we are now?

Susan Kruse, Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands – The Highland Archaeological Research Framework

Rebecca Rennell, UHI – Scotland’s Islands Research Framework for Archaeology

Andy Heald, AOC – ScARF – an applied archaeology perspective

The full ‘Present’ session is available here.

50 people watch a panel of five speakers on the alter discuss the  future of ScARF and take questions from the audience
The panel discussion and vote of thanks from the Society’s President


The final session of the event focussed on the future of ScARF. Helen Spencer, ScARF’s Project Manager, offered an update of some of the projects already planned for the next few years. Some new technical advances coming to the ScARF website soon were also explored. These include the development of a new website that will bring all the UK research frameworks together in one place.

The talks concluded with news about how research questions from these frameworks will be linked to OASIS V – the main portal for archaeology work to be reported in the UK and in Scotland reported to Discovery and Excavation in Scotland.

The session ended with an open panel discussion on plans for the future of ScARF, offering thoughts on where it could and should head in the next 10 years.

Session speakers:

Helen Spencer, ScARF Project Manager – The Future – ScARF and Scotland’s Archaeology Strategy

Gavin Macgregor, Director, Archaeology Scotland – Developing the next phase of regional frameworks – a community perspective

Alex Hale, Historic Environment Scotland – International Network for Contemporary Archaeology and working towards a new thematic framework

Dan Miles, Historic England – The new UK Research Framework Platform and OASIS

Click here to watch the full ‘Future’ session, including the panel discussion.

A rectangular sheet cake with glasses of white and red wine and red, blue and white napkins sits on a table. The cake has the ScARF logo with a bithday hat above the 'C'.
Celebration cake and drinks to end a wonderful event

The day ended with a toast to the journey so far and the next 10 years of ScARF. Overall, we welcomed over 70 guests in person and online, shared interesting discussions and learned not only how ScARF was developed, but where it could go and how to get there in the future.

The full playlist of the event can be accessed on YouTube. If you’d like to know more about ScARF, or have any questions about our projects, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.