The large number of written documents for the post-medieval period means that we are less dependent on archaeology to understand international trade than is the case in many earlier periods. Any study of goods imported to or exported from post-medieval Perth and Kinross is likely to draw considerably on documentary sources. However, physical evidence does still have a role to play in reconstructing economic networks in this period.
In regard to international trade, while written records do give us a remarkable insight into the goods that came from overseas, they provide much less detail on the eventual fate of these imports. What sort of people and places ended up using imported goods? How did their patterns of consumption change over time? Archaeological evidence is central to addressing such questions. Some important considerations regarding imported goods in post-medieval Perth and Kinross include improving our understanding of how far outside the burgh of Perth imported items tended to end up, and what levels of society and types of community used different sorts of imports. A question of particular interest regarding this period is of course the legacy of British imperialism, and the degree to which colonial goods and connections shaped this region of Scotland.
Archaeology is also key to understanding the economic networks that existed within a region, which official bodies were often much less concerned with documenting than international trade. Many of the economic connections which existed within Perth and Kinross prior to the period of improvement in the 18th century are poorly understood. It is likely that archaeological evidence will be central to understanding these regional connections, particularly in relation to small-scale producers and consumers.