As part of a ten year Archaeology Strategy, Historic Scotland are asking members of the public and people in the sector for feedback on how to make archaeology more accessible and meaningful to them, by launching a twelve-week public consultation.
The Scottish Government Agency are keen to hear opinions on how well the current draft of the strategy represents people’s interests and aspirations for archaeology in Scotland. Amongst other issues, the consultation seeks to know if the plan makes archaeology inclusive, if it maximise opportunities for education on the subject, and if it gives archaeology the best chance to inspire people and make a major contribution to the nation’s wellbeing.
Dr Rebecca Jones, Head of Archaeology Strategy at Historic Scotland, said:
“In 2013 we convened a Scottish Strategic Archaeology Committee to help create and promote the Archaeology Strategy. This strategy envisages a nation where the cultural and economic value of archaeology is fully realised for the benefit of all. It explores opportunities to reinvigorate archaeology’s contribution to our understanding of the past, to our sense of identity, and to our overall wellbeing.”
Prof Stephen Driscoll, Chair of the Scottish Strategic Archaeology Committee, said:
“Our committee represents a wide spectrum of the Scottish archaeology sector, however our ambition is to create a strategy which can be embraced by everyone engaged or interested in Scotland’s archaeology.”
“We hope that through this consultation we can reach an even broader range of voices and perspectives than we have to date. At the moment the strategy is a draft, and there is ample scope for individuals and groups to influence its final format.”
“Given all of the change in Scottish archaeology this is an important moment to make your voice heard as this strategy will shape the future of archaeology for years to come. I’d encourage you to get involved. It’s not difficult, doesn’t take a long time to do, and your views could make a difference.”
Following a 12 week consultation period, the results will be analysed and will guide the final version of the strategy, which is set to be launched in September 2015 at the European Association of Archaeologists Conference in Glasgow.
The strategy takes its lead from the Historic Environment Strategy for Scotland (2014), known as ‘Our Place in Time’ and examines the way in which archaeology contributes to the Historic Environment. The ethos behind the strategy is to make archaeology matter, ensuring that it plays a key role in our understanding of Scottish place-making and identity, enriching and improving the quality of people’s lives.
Historic Scotland invest approximately £2 million in archaeology every year. The agency’s role in the sector is multi-faceted and includes supporting activities through expertise and funding, including community projects, ground-breaking research, and projects that rescue archaeology in the face of unavoidable threats. Recent high profile recipients of this funding include the project at Black Loch of Myrton, the first identified loch village in Scotland; the excavations at Auldhame near North Berwick, which revealed an early medieval chapel and graveyard including the possible remains of an Irish Viking king; and, at High Pasture Cave on Skye where the oldest stringed musical instrument in western Europe was discovered. The agency is also supporting work on the Viking hoard recently found in Dumfries and Galloway.
There are several ways to engage with the consultation. For more information visit our consultation page www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/archaeology-strategy-consultation
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