9.4.3 Material Culture

The need to re-examine (or examine for the first time) the medieval material in museum collections was highlighted as a major opportunity in the National ScARF Medieval section 6.1. The growing body of diagnostic metal objects from the Highlands has also undoubtedly been fuelled in recent decades by metal detecting, though these finds are often under-researched. Less diagnostic finds can now increasingly be anchored in well-dated excavations such as Portmahomack and Cromarty. Excavations at Finlaggan, the main centre for the Lords of the Isles, provided useful material for comparison in the western Highlands (Caldwell 2014; see also RARFA Case Study; Finlaggan). The evidence from the Highlands remains to be brought together; much of the relevant material is contained in Treasure Trove reports. There is little published on this material, but see Shiels and Campbell (2011) who place a number of Highland finds in their European context.

There are also opportunities to re-evaluate older assemblages, especially if combined with dating potential if viable samples for dating survive. Batey (1987) pulled together diverse material from Freswick, and there have been further finds since then. Highland museums, particularly Inverness Museum, increasingly hold excavation assemblages obtained through Treasure Trove. These provide opportunities for dissertation or additional research. Metalwork and Coins Pottery Organics Diagnostically Norse Objects Evidence of Daily Life

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