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We are creating a new public body, Historic Environment Scotland, which will come into effect from 1 October 2015. While we work on shaping our future we can reassure you that all services and products will continue as normal. We will continue to keep you up to date on developments. Please follow our progress and find out more about our new organisation.

Scottish Archaeological Research Framework (SCARF)


Norse house beach
ScARF is a collaborative project funded by Historic Scotland and led by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. It began in late 2008 and completed in March 2012.

ScARF’s ambitious aim is to involve everyone in Scottish Archaeology in assessing what we know and where the most significant gaps are in our knowledge, in the hope that opportunities will be found to undertake research which will strengthen the framework of our understanding of the past as approached through archaeology. Inevitably, the work is at a fairly strategic level, looking at broad areas of knowledge rather than finely detailed aspects.

It is hoped that the resulting Framework is of use to all participants, and will help to ensure that resources (which are always scarce) are directed into key areas of research – this could apply to academic funding sources and to Historic Scotland’s Archaeology Programme, but could equally apply to maximising the research value of developer-funded archaeology or setting the efforts of local enthusiasts into national context.

The project was steered by a group drawn from the leading Scottish national institutions, the universities, local authorities, commercial archaeology units and the voluntary sector, and chaired by Roger Mercer OBE, former Secretary of RCAHMS. The work programme was divided into a number of Panels, mainly based on specific periods but with some arranged around themes. The project was administered by Dr Jeff Sanders, who is also involved in its maintenance and update.

The results of the project can be found on the ScARF website.




Contact us

Archaeology Strategy Team
Heritage Management Directorate
Historic Scotland
Longmore House
Salisbury Place
Edinburgh
EH9 1SH
Tel: +44 131 668 8811