July 2016
Newsletter #10
ScARF Museums Project: kick off visit to Orkney 
We recently took to Kirkwall for a valuable visit with the local authority museums team. Orkney Islands Council museums are one of our partner organisations for the museum branch of ScARF. This was our first time meeting the curators in person after much planning and exchanging many emails and phonecalls. Sometimes nothing beats a discussion face-to-face!
It would have been remiss of us not to explore the Orkney Museum galleries while we were there; there is a fantastic array of objects and photos on display. Archaeology is well represented across the museum so we were in our element browsing the displays.
Our final stop of the day was a behind-the-scenes look at the museum archaeology store – a great space which left us full of ideas for how our work together will progress. 
Find out more about the ScARF Museums project
In other Orkney news: Dr Scott Timpany (Science panel member and lecturer at UHI) is currently working on a new Carnegie funded project; Bay of Ireland Palaeolandscape Assessment – Addressing critical changes in Orcadian Landscapes; Mesolithic to Bronze Age. The project has space for an MSc student, who would need to be self funded, but who would be interested in looking at plant macrofossils and insects from the intertidal peats at the Bay of Ireland. If you are interested then contact Dr. Scott Timpany on or read more at
Panel report update
Some of our Romanists are missing! If you were on the Roman panel in 2012 but have not yet been contacted, then please email Emma at It may be that we do not have an up to date email address for you. 
The next panel meeting this year will be the Medieval panel, which will meet in August. Since that report was first published in 2012, lots of exciting Medieval archaeological research has been undertaken by commercial units and universities.  Some exciting discoveries made in Scotland include lost castles of Partick, new museum displays of Pictish stones and Viking hoards from Galloway so we expect to have lots of new case studies in the updated report. 

Three of the nine ScARF panels have now reconvened this year: Science, Marine and Maritime and Bronze Age & Chalcolithic. This means that work has now begun on updates to these archaeological reports. 
Get in touch about panel reports

Regional Framework update

The archaeology of Kilmartin. ©Kilmartin Museum
Earlier this month, ScARF attended a meeting at the University of Glasgow to discuss the quickly progessing RARFA - the Regional Archaeological Research Framework for Argyll. This ScARF funded project will eventually be freely available as part of the ScARF website and the working date at the moment is to bring it online during Spring 2017. Such a regional specific framework will provide a local and nuanced means of addressing both existing ScARF research recommendations and adding new ones specific to the Argyll region. The development of the project is being led by Sharon Webb and Biddy Simpson at Kilmartin Museum but includes contributions from over 40 individuals.  
Get in touch about regional research

Reports from the ScARF Student Network

Students enjoying various conferences this past year ©ScARF
One of the aims of the ScARF Student network is to help enable students to attend conferences that will help them carry out their research into aspects of Scottish archaeology. This month, four more reports from bursary recipients can be read online via the Student Reports section of the ScARF website. 

The topics reported on this past month include; creating reliable 14C-based chronologies, research into prehistoric apiculture on Orkney, Iron Age iron object depositions and re-evaluation of insular metalwork from Pagan-Norse graves, so something for everyone! 

Overall, the bursaries have been very successful and a full report on how they should be carried on will be available on the ScARF website in due course. 
Read the ScARF student network reports

Inaugural meeting of the Edinburgh Archaeological Symposium

Are you an archaeologist in the Edinburgh and Borders area? If so, then you might be interested in the newly formed, non-partisan, Edinburgh Archaeological Symposium, a new monthly discussion group for all archaeologists – commercial, academic and student! A series of presentations, debates and discussions about the methodology, issues and practice of archaeology within the different archaeological sectors in Scotland.
Alongside the more obvious training opportunities that should be offered by units and institutions to their employees, the EASY group feel that it is important that archaeologists also engage in ‘soft’ training such as discussion groups, conferences and lectures in order to stay abreast of developments, new sites or theories and new techniques. It has also been noted that commercial archaeology would benefit from a workforce that is more engaged with current academic thought and processes and that, equally, academic archaeologists would benefit from a more nuanced understanding of commercial practices, excavation techniques and solutions.Something close to heart and aims of the ScARF project!
It is hoped that future EASY events will be informal discussion of a non-commercially sensitive topic within archaeology e.g. dealing with a waterlogged site; the use of geophysics in Scotland; infilling processes within negative features etc. The event would involve a speaker from one of the units/organisations around Scotland and would be a chance for individuals to add to CPD logs or Skills Passports cheaply, easily and most of all, interestingly!
The first session will be at the Beehive pub on Grassmarket on 24 July at 3pm. The subject will be “The Training Hour: appropriate on-site training within the commercial sector.” If you are able to attend or have any feedback on the idea then please email Ben Saunders (

Coming up next month: Regional updates and the release of Carved Stones! 

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