New approach to strengthen Scots archaeology


THE way Historic Scotland supports and funds archaeology projects across the country is to be strengthened.

The heritage agency has completed a review of the scope of the archaeology work it commissions and how it supports external projects across the country.

The recommendations will position Historic Scotland to take on an increased role in leading the archaeology sector and will see the creation of a dedicated forum to represent the sector as a whole and influence related policy.

Director of Policy Andrew Fleming. said: “Archaeology offers us such huge potential to interest people in our past. It is so much more than excavations and this review will help Historic Scotland fully recognise the excellent work already being carried out and develop better ways of supporting archaeology and research across Scotland.

“We are really fortunate as Scotland has an outstanding legacy of physical remains of our past. We are constantly learning more and revising our opinions about how our ancestors lived. Having a tangible link to life thousands of years ago is an incredible resource that we need to appreciate and celebrate.

“The expertise we have access to is astonishing an I hope that in taking forward plans for greater partnership working and the setting up of a forum specifically looking at archaeology we can ensure we are able to identify where investment can be most effective and what further work is needed.

“Last week the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop unveiled the remains of an ancient stringed instrument which had been found on the island of Skye.

“That project has uncovered a wealth of fascinating information but it is also a wonderful example of a great many people and organisations coming together to advise, fund and generally support the excavation and post excavation research. By working together we are changing the way that people regard their history and celebrating our shared history.”

Holding a review was a key performance target for 2011-12 and involved interviews with colleagues in Historic Scotland, as well as a number of partner organisations and has produced 11 key recommendations have been put forward.

Eila McQueen, Director of Archaeology Scotland, said: “Archaeology Scotland welcome the review. We have a positive relationship with HS that we want to continue. There are exciting and challenging times ahead and I welcome the developing role of leadership from Historic Scotland and believe that we should all get behind that.”