9.4.1 Regional Overview

Collation and synthesis of the available published and unpublished macroplant data recovered from Perth and Kinross is currently much needed as part of a regional overview. There is a need to better understand changes of the macroplant/archaeobotanical data within the region, both throughout the different periods and geographically, to allow investigation of changes overtime, differences between areas, site types and situations within the varied landscape of the region.

The importance of synthesis of archaeobotanical data is highlighted in recent research by Bishop et al (2010; 2013), who investigated the published and unpublished macroplant remains recovered from early prehistoric sites across Scotland. This research has provided a wealth of information on the quality and quantity of the current macroplant data from this early period, identifying general trends in terms of crops cultivated and wild plants gathered, and highlighted areas that were lacking in the early prehistoric data. While earlier work by Dickson and Dickson (2000) went a step further, bringing together key environmental data from across Scotland from the earliest periods to the medieval period, and set out future research areas.

The work by both Bishop et al (2010; 2013) and Dickson and Dickson (2000) have indicated that synthesis of the macroplant/archaeobotanical data from Perth and Kinross is vital. It not only allows the identification of regional trends and true gaps in the data, it also enables us to take steps towards providing comparable data to investigate Scotland as a whole and to feed into regional and national frameworks. Given that the work by Dickson and Dickson is now 20 years old, it is reasonable to suggest that there is an urgent need for Scottish archaeobotanical evidence both regionally and on a national level to be revisited so as to consolidate the current available data and to establish clear baselines.