There is a UK-wide problem in developing artefact specialists, with many specialisms dependent on a small number of specialists. This is not a problem which can or should be solved on a Scottish basis. It is, however, an area where there is a great desirability to having specialists familiar with the frontier zone, both Scottish and northern English. The issues are particularly acute with pottery and coinage. In recent years, AHRC collaborative doctoral awards and IfA workplace bursaries have proved valuable initiatives nationally to develop material culture skills.
The Roman Northern Frontiers Seminar provides a valuable forum for discussion.
Material culture and its analysis should receive greater emphasis within University archaeology courses.
The AHRC and IfA initiatives are worthy of further development, and attempts should be made to ensure that Roman material is included in such projects.
The continued application and publication of interesting approaches to material culture is perhaps the best advertisement for specialist work.