Scotland’s Island Research Framework for Archaeology (SIRFA) Symposium, Western Isles 7th – 11th January 2019
In September 2019, I attended the Scottish Islands Research Framework for Archaeology (SIRFA) Shetland symposium in Lerwick, which was a hugely successful event. It was an excellent and vastly informative experience attending an event with so many individuals – from invested Shetlanders to long-established academics – that were passionate about and dedicated to the archaeology and heritage of Shetland.
Both my recently completed Masters thesis and a significant part of my current PhD research have a strong Shetland focus, predominantly through an examination of the Viking Age and Late Norse chapel sites in the North Isles (Yell, Unst and Fetlar) of Shetland, as well as case studies from the mainland. The Shetland symposium was a perfect opportunity to share my research aims and preliminary results with a varied and knowledgeable audience, and gain some insightful feedback from this process.
The symposium also provided an ideal chance to network with various parties with a vested interest in Shetland’s archaeology, and it was particularly valuable to meet those with similar research interests to myself, and see all the excellent work that has been produced in this subject area. These links and potential partnerships will ensure that my research has a wider scope, and engages with the communities who own the heritage and archaeology that I am investigating. The opportunity to contributing to the Scottish Islands Research Framework for Archaeology – specifically addressing the challenges and future of archaeology in Shetland – allowed me to highlight the importance of my particular field of study within both Viking Age studies and Shetland archaeology in general.
Finally, I would like to thank both the Scottish Archaeological Research Framework (ScARF) and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland for providing me with the Student/ECR Bursary to attend the SIRFA Shetland symposium. I am exceedingly grateful for the appreciation of the importance of attendance and participation in such events for students and early career researchers shown by the funding bodies mentioned above. This funding was vital for myself, as well as others, to attend this exceedingly important event that has allowed me to share my research and to contribute to the research framework for the archaeology of these beautiful islands in the coming years.
Scott McCreadie, PhD Candidate, University of Glasgow