Clyde Valley Archaeological Research Framework

The ScARF team is now making plans for the next phase of development in our regional research frameworks across Scotland and is creating plans for some new projects. Future plans are being put in place for the areas of Scotland not yet included in a regional framework. One of these regions is West Central Scotland – the ‘Clyde Valley’. This project 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.

A community excavation at Killearn Glen (c) Gavin MacGregor   

Although this is a relatively small geographical area (compared to many of the other regions), it comprises 8 local authorities and is the most populated area of the proposed RRF regions. An outline project plan has been written for a three-year project. 

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

Working in collaboration with Northlight Heritage and the University of Glasgow, ScARF is working on the project proposal for the development of this new framework. Three online workshops in January and March 2022 explored the opportunities, issues and proposed methodologies with key stakeholders and members of the public.

The first two workshops were for potential main stakeholders to discuss and assess the initial approaches to the project. In March, however, the third workshop was opened to members of the public. Through formal feedback and informal discussion, a range of priorities were identified. Participants were asked their opinions on the limitations and opportunities for future research in the Clyde Valley region, as well as how research aims could be delivered most effectively. The main conclusions drawn from this exercise focused on the importance of wide-ranging collaborations from academics and local archaeology groups, with an emphasis on community involvement. Feedback suggested that the best way to approach the gaps in our knowledge was both thematically and chronologically, utilising the knowledge of local heritage groups, previous and ongoing academic research in the area and existing museum collections. The majority of participants thought it was essential to develop an archaeological research framework for the Clyde Valley region. These workshops yielded useful feedback and mark the first steps in the creation of the Clyde Valley framework. 

We look forward to sharing the results of the workshops and our ongoing progress with the Clyde Valley framework. 

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Volunteer digging at New Lanark WHS (c) Gavin Macgregor

Exploring our past

Excavation of Neolithic features at Wellbrae, south Lanarkshire
(courtesy of Derek Alexander (c) CFA Archaeology Ltd)

As part of the development of a Clyde Valley Archaeological Research Framework, ScARF is pleased to be able to share Exploring Our Past: Essays on the Local History and Archaeology of West Central Scotland, published by Glasgow Museums in 2015. This series of essays offers an accessible insight into the history and prehistory of the region, written by specialist authors and spanning the Neolithic period to modern times.

Each chronological and thematic essay is available now to read and download here.