1.3 The Structure of SESARF

The structure of SESARF follows a similar format to other regional research frameworks.

Following an introduction, Chapter 2, provides a basic summary of the underlying geology and landscape features of the region as well as the changing environment, climate and land-use over time.

The remaining chapters are a series of chronological chapters which provide a summary of what is currently know about the archaeology of each period. At the end of each chapter, are the research questions and recommendations that have been posed.

Most of the chapters follow a standard format with similar main chapter headings that flow through the chronological chapters. These headings are:

  • Settlement and Domesticity (to include demography)
  • Subsistence & Farming (as appropriate for period – to include food, health and diet where possible)
  • Craft/Industry/Trade (as appropriate for period)
  • Material Culture
  • Religion, Ritual and Funerary
  • Transport
  • Conflict

Key themes of people movement, migration and the region’s place in the wider world, were also considered within all chapters

These headings and themes were chosen by the Working Group and project team over the course of the project as being most appropriate to the region.

Each chapter has a separate bibliography.

There are also a series of case studies for the region. These will be added to over time to provide a broad summary of the wide range of archaeological work that has been undertaken in the region.

Chronological Terms

The basis chronology outlined in the original National Scottish Archaeological Research Framework (ScARF) has been used as a starting point for SESARF. The main deviation from the ScARF chronological chapters is to subdivide the medieval section into two chapters the ‘early medieval’ and ‘medieval’, and to subdivide the Modern chapter into ‘post-medieval’ and ‘modern’.

SESARF ChapterSESARF Chronology
Palaeolithic & Mesolithic12,700 – 4,000 BC
Neolithic4,000 – 2,500 BC
Chalcolithic & Bronze Age2,500 – 800 BC
Iron Age800 BC – AD 400
RomanAD 77 – 211
Early MedievalAD 400 – 1100
MedievalAD 1100 – 1500
Post-medievalAD 1500 – AD 1800
ModernAD 1800 – present

Aspects which might vary period chronologies at a regional level are discussed at the start of each period chapter.

Monument types

The Scottish Monument Type Thesaurus has been used throughout to describe monument types. The first time individual sites are mentioned one each page they are directly hyper-linked to the national Canmore record (which in the case of the Scottish Borders is also the HER record), and in the case of sites in East and Midlothian, to the relevant HER database record.

Radiocarbon dates

All radiocarbon (14C) dates mentioned in the text are calibrated (cal) unless otherwise stated.