Exploring Our Past

ScARF is pleased to be able to share a much loved resource focussing on West Central Scotland. Exploring Our Past: Essays on the Local History and Archaeology of West Central Scotland, published by Glasgow Museums in 2015. The book was aimed at anyone with an interest in the local history and prehistory of West Central Scotland.

Slezer’s engraving of 17th century Glasgow from the south
(c) Culture and Sport Glasgow (Glasgow Museums)

As part of our new project to develop a Clyde Valley Archaeological Research Framework, we are excited to offer this fully accessible resource which highlights the significance and research potential of the region throughout history and prehistory, with essays spanning the Neolithic period to modern times.

Click here to read and download each essay.

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New Case Studies

Have you read ScARF’s newest case studies?

Our Archaeological Science framework has been expanding recently, including two new case studies on The Medieval Bishops of Whithorn and Dietary Isotope Analysis at Portmahomack which are now available on the ScARF website. Both were written for us by Dr Shirley Curtis-Summers and are the first new science case studies to be added as part of our ongoing project to update the national Archaeological Science Research Framework. 

General view of Whithorn Priory from south-east ©HES

Two case studies written by our Early Career Researchers explore Post-medieval upland features in Glencoe, as well as the material evidence of Conversion to Christianity in the Northern and Western Isles.

In 2021, Eddie and Scott received ScARF Covid-19 bursaries to support fieldwork contributing to their PhDs. As part of Eddie’s research, a series of post-medieval upland features in Gleann Leac-na-Muidhe, Glencoe were surveyed and excavated. Eddie’s research aims to explore the relationship between shieling practice and other upland seasonal industries in the post-medieval Highlands and Islands and aims to re-evaluate interpretations and narratives around these landscapes. His research will involve a series of case studies across upland Scotland utilising archival research, walkover survey and excavation.

The landscape of Gleann Leac-na-Muidhe ©Eddie Stewart

Scott’s research aims to make a comparative study of material culture of Christian conversion in the Western and Northern Isles of Scotland. He was able to visit 21 Orcadian sites in three weeks, surveying and recording sites in their landscape as well as noting experiential data such as sounds and impressions of the landscape, producing a huge amount of raw data to form the basis for his research in the coming year.

St Magnus’ Church, Egilsay ©Scott McCreadie

If you would like to contribute a case study or enquire about our Early Career Research opportunities, please get in touch

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ScARF Newsletter – March 2022

Spring into 2022!

Check out our March ScARF newsletter which was sent out last week to all our subscribers.

Click here to take a look at the latest ScARF news including an online workshop for our new Clyde regional research framework project, an update from the Perth and Kinross Archaeological Research Framework, new Case Studies recently added to our Science Framework and news about some upcoming events. 

Artist impression of the monastery at Portmahomack – the topic of one of our new Science Case Studies (c) John Tosca
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ScARF Newsletter – January 2022

Our first Newsletter of 2022 is available to download here.

Find out the latest about our regional research framework consultations, the Scottish Student Archaeology Societies Conference and some new Early Career Researcher case studies which are now available on the ScARF website.

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Clyde Valley Archaeological Research Framework

A community excavation at Killearn Glen (c) Gavin MacGregor

The ScARF team is now starting to make plans for the next phase of the development of regional research frameworks across Scotland and is beginning to create plans for some new projects.

One of these regions, we are proposing for a new project, is west-central Scotland – or the Clyde Valley. This will comprise all the local authorities that surround the Clyde river catchment: East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow City, Inverclyde, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, South Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire.

Map showing areas where regional research framework projects are currently ongoing (red) and areas (white) where projects are still to get underway.

ScARF is currently working in collaboration with Northlight Heritage and the University of Glasgow to develop a project proposal to develop this new framework and we want to speak to as many people as possible to discuss issues, opportunities and proposed methodologies. In January, we held two online workshops with some key stakeholders in the region and would now like to open up discussions to anyone with an interest in the archaeology and heritage of the region and who has an interest in a new Clyde Valley Framework for the region.

An online open workshop to explain more about the proposed project and to gather some initial thoughts and ideas will be taking place on Wednesday 9th March between 13:00 – 15:30. The workshop will be led by Dr Helen Spencer (Society of Antiquaries of Scotland), Dr Gavin MacGregor (Northlight Heritage) and Dr Kenny Brophy (University of Glasgow).

To register for a place please go to Eventbrite

For further information or to have an informal chat please get in touch.

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Celebrating Archaeology in Scotland

Have you seen the latest Celebrating Archaeology in Scotland 2021 magazine?

The magazine, brought to you by Scotland’s Archaeology Strategy, showcases some of the amazing archaeological work that has taken place over the last year. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, you can now do so from the ScARF website. This year’s issue is as topical as ever, highlighting the work archaeologists are doing to understand and mitigate against climate change, to bring hidden and obscured histories to light, and use our heritage to improve wellbeing. Articles range across a wide variety of subjects, from project updates and new research to changes in heritage practice.

You can download this year’s Celebrating Archaeology in Scotland magazine here.

The Five Year Review of the Scottish Archaeology Strategy is also available to download here

You can also head to the Scottish Archaeology Strategy website for more information.

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ScARF Newsletter – December 2021

Our last newsletter of 2021 is out now! Check it out for the latest ScARF news announcing the shortlisting of the Highland Archaeological Research Framework for Archaeology Achievement Awards, an update from the Perth and Kinross Archaeological Research Framework, a brand new ECR case study and dates for your diary!

Our December newsletter can be accessed here.

Haven’t signed up for our newsletter yet?

Do so here to make sure you don’t miss out on the latest ScARF news!

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ScARF Newsletter – October 2021

Our October newsletter has landed in our subscribers inboxes! Packed full of ScARF updates including the launch of the Highland Archaeological Research Framework, exciting news from the Perth and Kinross Archaeological Research Framework, and dates for your diary including information on the 2021 Rhind Lectures! – our October newsletter can be accessed here.

Haven’t signed up for our newsletter yet?

Do so here to make sure you don’t miss out on the latest ScARF news!

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ScARF Newsletter – September 2021

Our September newsletter has landed in our subscribers inboxes! Packed full of updates on the upcoming launch of the Highland Archaeological Research Framework, ScARF Skills Workshops and upcoming dates for your diary – our September newsletter can be accessed here.

Haven’t signed up for our newsletter yet?

Do so here to make sure you don’t miss out on the latest ScARF news!

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ScARF Skills Workshops – Archaeological Illustration and Finds Conservation

We are delighted to be sponsoring two fantastic skills workshops to celebrate the launch of the Highland Archaeological Research Framework as part of the exciting schedule of events for this year’s Highland Archaeology Festival.


Introduction to Finds Conservation
27th September 1pm-4pm. Gretel Evans (Conservation Manager, AOC Archaeology) will deliver an online workshop telling us everything we need to know about archaeological conservation – from an overview of conservation techniques and how to clean and package finds in the field, to general storage and condition checking. This event is aimed at museum professionals and volunteers, individuals working on archaeological sites (professional or amateur!), metal detectorists, students, or anyone with a keen interest in archaeological conservation!

Note: This is a FREE online event – book your place here.

Archaeological Illustration
28th September 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm
. Expert illustrator Thomas Small (Small Finds & Design) will deliver two workshops at Nairn Community & Arts Centre. The workshops will focus on practical exercises, teaching the principles of pottery and small finds illustration with a straight-forward guide for participants to take home!

This is a FREE event open to all! Booking is essential. To book a place on this workshop, or to find out more – please contact leanne@socantscot.org.

A profile gauge and pottery illustration. ©Thomas Small

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