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We're changing

We have created a new public body, Historic Environment Scotland. While we work on shaping our future we can reassure you that all services and products will continue as normal. Please follow our progress and find out more about our new organisation.

Archaeology Review

A 2000 year old weaving comb
A review into how Historic Scotland supports, funds and utilises archaeology was concluded in early 2012.

It looked at the scope of the archaeology work the agency commissions how it supports projects across the country and how the resulting evidence is used in our understanding of our history, the properties in our care and the way we present information to visitors.

By delivering the review’s recommendations Historic Scotland will develop its role to champion the archaeology sector.

A dedicated forum to represent the sector and influence related policy will be created in due course.

PDF icon Archaeology Review 2012 [PDF, 270 KB]

For more information contact on

Creative approaches for moving forward

The final aim for the current project is to try and find the most appropriate outcome for each of the projects on the ‘inactive’ list, with the objective of clearing all projects.

Our initial thrust targets the original project managers or their executors, and / or the most obvious or available inheritor, aiming to establish whether the project can still be considered worthy of publication why the project stalled and help to find a way to re-activate their projects. Where there is no obvious owner or inheritor of a project, or where the condition or importance of the project archive are insufficient to merit pushing for publication, other options will be pursued.

For many, the major outcome will result in the project archive deposited in Scotland’s national archaeological archive, held by RCAHMS, and made accessible to the public through Canmore, and finds allocated through the Treasure Trove system. This should enable the conservation and accessibility of these assemblages of data for future use by researchers who will no doubt approach these projects from a different angle and will see more or new merit which our current position does not allow.

Once projects have been archived, we are exploring further work on these by promoting their accessibility to undergraduate and post-graduate students to use as they (and their academic supervisors) see fit. We also hope to work with colleagues from across the sector to identify Scotland’s wider legacy of incomplete projects to see how we can collectively release locked knowledge for current and future generations.


Contact us

Rod McCullagh
Historic Scotland
Longmore House
Salisbury Place
Tel: +44 (0) 131 668 8600