The Scottish Archaeological Research Framework (ScARF) launched in 2012 as a snapshot of the then current state of knowledge regarding Scotland’s past. It is designed to be constantly updated and added to as our archaeological knowledge grows.

ScARF LogoAs understanding of the past changes, so too will ScARF. It should be seen as a live document that will be constantly updated, edited and improved.

This collaborative project brought together experts and interested laypeople from a range of disciplines to provide an up to date overview of archaeological research in Scotland. ScARF is therefore not a routine publication as it is one that is revised from day one. It is also multi-authored and necessarily multi-disciplinary, reflecting the variety of approaches and people who conduct research into the past.

The formulation of the framework required a considerable amount of work from across and beyond the Scottish heritage sector, and was therefore continually peer-reviewed during the process of creation.

The updatable framework highlights current research strengths within Scottish archaeology and areas for future exploration. In other words, the framework provides a structure to build upon and a set of research goals to aspire to. ScARF is subject to an ongoing process of review as new archaeological work is carried out.

The framework means that it is now possible for anyone wishing to contribute to the research environment of Scotland to effectively plan their work in relation to the framework; ensure that future research is relevant and effectively contributes to our understanding of the past.

For the ScARF project, the entirety of Scottish archaeology was split into nine panel reports, seven covering time periods and two that have no temporal limits. All the reports are available to download for free from the project website ( or can be viewed on the wiki-style website itself.

Approx. dates covered Panel Report
12,700 BC – 4,100 BC Palaeolithic and Mesolithic
4,100 BC – 2,500 BC Neolithic
2,500 BC – 800 BC Chalcolithic and Bronze Age
800 BC – AD 400 Iron Age
AD 77 – AD 211 Roman
AD 400 – 1500 Medieval
1500 onwards Modern
n\a Science
n\a Marine and Maritime



[caption id="attachment_3499" align="aligncenter" width="252"]Telling Scotlands Story cover The graphic novel style popular account of the project, Telling Scotlands Story,
is available to download from the website. Also available in Gaidhlig.[/caption] As a project of the Society, ScARF provides an independent platform to discuss archaeology and heritage research. the Scottish Strategic Archaeology Committee and the Scottish Archaeology Strategy. ScARF is also helping to develop a set of more localised regional research frameworks, to enhance the detailed knowledge of Scottish archaeology. If you have any questions about the project, or woudl like more information, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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