Action Plan

The SWARF Action Plan identifies how the agreed Research Aims have been addressed to date. The final column suggests future research topics and organisations who will deliver these initiatives. The information in this Action Plan was compiled from workshops and feedback to the draft report.

AEA: Association for Environmental Archaeology, AI: Academic institutions, BGS: British Geological Survey, CA: Contracting archaeologists, CBA: Council for British Archaeology, DAC: Diocesan Advisory Committee, EA: Environment Agency, EH: English Heritage, HLF: Heritage Lottery Fund, LA: Local authorities, MMO: Marine Management Organisation, Mus: Museums, NE: Natural England, PAS: Portable Antiquities Scheme, VS: Voluntary sector.

Theme A: Settlement Sites and Landscapes – urban, rural, prehistoric

Research AimWhoResearch DirectionCurrent Research ExamplesSuggested Delivery Examples
10: Address lack of understanding of key transitional periods.AI LA CA PAS Mus VS EHAcademic institutions to research into the identified topics. Routine Scientific dating on sites with potential for transitional contexts.EH Prehistoric draft strategy. Beaker people isotope project. Stonehenge Riverside Project Isles of Scilly Historic Environment Research Framework.Artefact studies from securely dated contextual sequences, in particular indicative lithic assemblages, Post Deverel-Rimbury Pottery. Roman context which span the 2nd–3rd century, Late Roman to Post-Roman. Review of current museum lithic collections and call for flint collections to be catalogued.
28: Improve understanding of Neolithic settlements and landscapes.AI LA CA VSSynthesis of theoretical and field evidence – Universities to lead but include all interested parties Raise awareness amongst local authority archaeologists and others of the potential research needs.EH prehistoric draft strategy. Isles of Scilly Historic Environment Research Framework.Field Survey – volunteers. More geomorphological data collection from “natural features”. Targeting of wet sites for investigation.
29: Improve understanding of non-villa Roman rural settlement.AI CBA VS EHEnglish Heritage and local authorities to consider targeting aerial survey and fieldwork towards these specific research aims. Synthesis needed. Wider landscape survey/geophysics/excavation. transition from Iron Age to Roman iron production.
35: Improve understanding of early Roman urban settlement.EH LA CA AIUniversities and their funding bodies to support research into theoretical models of urban development. Scientific dating on Roman urban sites with late deposits Prepare and implement a strategy for the publication of important earlier excavations. Target features suitable for archaeo-magnetic dating.
30: Develop and test methodologies to identify Early Medieval rural settlement.AI LAResearchers to make LA aware of locations that have high potential for remains of this period so that development monitoring can be enhanced. Support innovative field research.
31: Address the long-running debates about Early Medieval landscapes and territories.AI CBA VSEncourage fieldwork on linear monuments Synthesis of evidence/historic sources OSL dating on linear earthworks within targeted excavation projects Parish surveys – Shapwick style projects and village studies such as Winscombe.
32: Investigate and identify the locations of Early Medieval religious buildings, monuments and landscapes.AI LA DAC VSLA archaeologists, and archaeologists on diocesan advisory committees, to be aware of sites with high potential for enhanced monitoring. Support innovative and field research into this area. 32e documentary reassessment of source material/date revision.
33: Widen understanding of the origins of villagesEH AI LA VSEH to consider a research programme to assess the effectiveness of development monitoring in villages or whether the mixed picture that we see at the moment is real.Dispersed settlement in Devon (Steve Rippon, Exeter University) Mendip – East Harptree, Westbury, Winscombe.Community surveys including “garden surveys”, documents, buildings and test pitting. The Winscombe project led by Mick Aston has excavated over 100 test pits in one parish.
34: Develop understanding of Early Medieval urban settlement.AI EH LA CA HLFPrepare and implement an assessment of all unpublished major site excavations.MPRGTheoretical models of urban development.
36: Improve understanding of Medieval and later urbanism.EH LA HLFPrepare and implement a strategy for the publication of important earlier excavations. Support the completion of the EUS and UADs across the region. Conference to produce synthesis publication.EH Urban strategy MPRG research strategyDocumentary/historical/finds surveys. Develop links between local authority conservation officers and their appraisals of Conservation Areas to archaeological information.
37: Increase our knowledge of maritime archaeological sites.EH MMO PAS LAEnhance the maritime components of HERs. Encourage reporting by divers of wreck and other sea-bed material. ASLF finishing – NHPP addressing maritime archaeology.RCZA. EH maritime research strategy. Isles of Scilly Historic Environment Research Framework.Data collection from sources such as Hydrographic Office.

Theme B: Artefacts and the Built Environment – technologies, resources, links to trade

Research AimWhoResearch DirectionCurrent Research ExamplesSuggested Delivery Examples
14: Widen our understanding of Later Bronze Age and Iron Age material culture.AI LALA archaeologists and contractors to be made aware of the need for increased recording of sites producing evidence of this date via a question led approach. Work of research and synthesis, making relevant to the general public. Peer group meetings to encourage collaboration. Establish better links between museums and academics.Isles of Scilly Historic Environment Research Framework.Artefact-based research topics. Analysis of slag at Fort Cumberland – metalworking research.
38: Widen understanding of mineral acquisition and processing.EH LA VSPrepare a more detailed research agenda and strategy for implementation including specialist research frameworks. Build on regional projects with local projects.Coastal salt production – Bournemouth University. Bristol University – economic history PhD. Minerals Programme (P Claughton, Exeter University)Local societies survey work. Collaboration between archaeologists, historians and geologists.
44: Develop an understanding and identification of Early Medieval technologies.AI Mus LA EH VSRaise awareness amongst museums and researchers so that additional material might be identified in existing collections. Harness expertise in local societies, for example wind and watermill group. Build on RCZA findings especially dating and implications of climate change.RCZA. Exeter University MPRG research strategyMuseum collections work placements/MDOs Medieval water power and iron mills.
63: Deepen understanding of Medieval and later defence and conflict sites.AI EH LA CBAA programme of research fieldwork in castle baileys and urban defences. C20 features especially vulnerable – CBA/EH to prepare guidance notes for types of buildings, structures and features.Bristol urban archaeological assessment. Prayerbook Rebellion research (Devon County Council/Leeds University). Isles of Scilly Historic Environment Research Framework. Oliver Creighton research Exeter University.Training and funding for VS (spread experience sideways between local societies). Lidar for small rural medieval earthwork castles.
45: Broaden understanding of Post-Medieval to Modern technology and production.AI LA VS EHIndustrial archaeologists to consider research of neglected industries and the “second industrial revolution”. Rolling out programme to look at water management systems and mills, examining quality of info available, identifying significant sites, looking at designation – EH.Regional study of disposal of artefactual material relating to C19/20 industry, no space for this type of material – South West Federation of Museums and Galleries. Proposed EH pilot in Herefordshire. Quarry Faces HLF. EH Urban strategy. Historical Metallurgy Group Research agenda. Development of mine engine houses (Truro and Penwith colleges). Isles of Scilly Historic Environment Research Framework.Late C19/20 area priority for example roller mills. Standing buildings. Modern industrial sites – car industry, trading estates.
53: Increase knowledge of the effects of colonialism on the region and the wider world.AI VSRegional approach – not just Bristol and North Devon – also links to American/West Indies universities; Barnstaple, Plymouth, Exeter as ports and trade and relationships with other parts of the world.N Devon ceramics industry University of the West of England – Madge Dresser and links with new Museum of Bristol, Roger Leech at Southampton University – PhDs.Post-Roman ceramics. Links with family history – local societies and volunteers. Study impact of grain and fertiliser imports.
15: Use innovative techniques and methodologies to ask sophisticated questions of Post-Medieval to Modern artefacts and buildings.AI LA EHLA/CU to be made aware of the need for increased recording of sites. Strengthen links between DC archaeologists and conservation officers. Develop policies for local lists and characterisation of undesignated assets.HER 21. EH urban strategy. Isles of Scilly Historic Environment Research Framework.Development briefs to ensure buildings are understood when they are substantially altered or demolished. High potential for local community involvement artefact-based research topics for universities.

Theme C: Environment and Dating – landscape change and methodologies

Research AimWhoResearch DirectionCurrent Research ExamplesSuggested Delivery Examples
16a: Dating Palaeolithic sitesAI EHDating of material already excavated from cave deposits (mainly in the Mendip Hills). EHRSP priority.Significant reassessment and dating has already taken place on some Museum collections. AHOB (3) project continuing. AHOB 1 and 2 completed. RCFBP 2008 (Research and Conservation Framework for the British Palaeolithic. Chard Junction Quarry – Tony Brown, Southampton University.New dating of remains from Banwell Bone Cave and Ebbor Gorge. AHOB phase 3, module 3 will include work at Gough’s Cave and Kent’s Cavern.
16b: Dating Palaeolithic deposits.AIDating in situ gravel and terrace deposits using new scientific techniques. EHRSP priority.Axe valley laboratory comparison for the Palaeolithic ended in 2011.Trial dating of isotope analysis and cosmogenic nuclides in Devon river gravels and terraces by PhD students.
16c: Radiocarbon dating the Mesolithic.AIMore scientific dates are required for the Mesolithic as too heavy a reliance on typological dating.Some recent dating from Mendip caves but very few other examples (Exmoor?). Dating submerged Mesolithic forest deposits in Scilly (the EH-funded Lyonesse Project). Greylake Quarry skulls (Somerset County Council).Sites for scientific dating need to be identified for University post-graduate study.
16d: Radiocarbon dating the early Neolithic.EH LA VSScientific dating required to determine when Neolithic monuments were being created.Whittle, Healey and Bayliss project Gathering Time has dated many causewayed enclosures and long barrows. The Lyonesse Project is dating Neolithic peat deposits in Scilly.Further dating of such monuments and any other early Neolithic structures (eg wooden trackways), monuments or settlements will help add to this work. This could be done on a local basis with dating advice from EH. 14 C dating and strontium analysis of the calf’s tooth found peat deposits dated to c. 4000 BC in the Isles of Scilly is potentially very significant.
16e: Radiocarbon dating museum collections for other key periods (especially the Early Medieval.)AI LA VSScientific dating is key to the identification of Early Medieval/Post-Roman sites in the region. Much can be achieved by RC dating material that has been previously excavated.Mick Aston has been collating the scientific dates for Somerset and obtaining new ones.Aston project “Arthur to Alfred” is continuing in Somerset. Local Societies and LA could carry out similar work across the region.
16f: Scientific dating for the Iron Age.EH LA AIImproved scientific dating is required for the Iron Age as existing dating is reliant on pottery typologies. Combining different scientific techniques may prove fruitful.The Lyonesse Project is dating Iron Age peat deposits in Scilly. Very little archaeomagnetic dating has been carried out and very little Bayesian analysis of multiple 14C dates.LA curators should implement the use of a suite of scientific dating methods at suitable Iron Age DC sites. EH can provide advice. Combinations of scientific dating methods should be tried at suitable sites (for example archaeomagnetic, 14 C and dendrochronology at Glastonbury Lake Village).
16g: Dendrochronological dating of Medieval buildings.EH NT LA VSMore dendrochronological dating is required to understand the development of Medieval building in the region and to make the Medieval regional chronology more robust.EH and the NT have been undertaking much work. Some local societies (eg Somerset Vernacular Building Group) have also commissioned several projects. Some dating of church bench ends has been carried out (in Cornwall). Devon dendrochronology project – farmhouse roofs.EH should continue to prioritise dendrochronological dating on Listed Building consultations. NT to continue to carry out dating on their properties. Local Societies to continue to do dendrochronology as part of building recording projects (possibly as part of HLF funded projects). Pilot project to dendrochronologically date bench-ends in Somerset churches is planned. LA to ensure that dendrochronological assessment and analysis occurs in DC work on suitable listed and unlisted buildings.
16h: Scientific dating in development control projects.CA LA EHCommercial archaeology provides the vast majority of scientific dating opportunities in the region. The need to answer research questions is now central to planning legislation in the NPPF.Much scientific dating is already carried out. More is needed for key periods (eg Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and early Neolithic, Early Medieval).LA curators need to ensure that new techniques are used (eg OSL, archaeomagnetic) where appropriate and to ensure that key research opportunities related to scientific dating (OSL being tried at Steart and Walpole sites in Somerset). EH to continue to offer dating training seminars. LA curators to determine if there is a method for collating scientific dating in the region undertaken through DC work.
16i: Pottery dating by rehydroxylation and dating lipids.EH AIPottery is the most ubiquitous dating material for most periods. Continue to support development of new scientific techniques to date the firing of the pottery by rehydroxylation, and dating of lipids contained within the fabric.Dating of lipids has already been carried out on sites in the region (eg Sweet Track). More research is required on the dating of lipids in pottery and on the reliability of the new technique of dating ceramics by rehydroxylation.Samples of pottery from the Sweet Track are being dated as part of a trial of the new rehydroxylation technique.
16j: Regional dendrochronology enhancement.EH LA VSMore data is required to enhance the national prehistoric tree-ring chronology and the regional chronology. Other periods in the early Medieval and parts of the Roman period are also poorly represented.EH and LA curators should ensure that all possible opportunities for analysing samples from these periods are taken up. Somerset Vernacular Building Research Group.LA to ensure that dendrochronological assessment and analysis is carried out on all suitable sites. EH dendro team to be involved on suitable research projects. LA, EH and dendrochronology laboratories to determine how to monitor where analysis is taking place.
17: Improving standards and techniques of environmental data.EH AEAThere is considerable variability in the quality and quantity of environmental data. There is also a suggestion that environmental work in DC projects too often stops at assessment level and full analysis is not carried out when it would be justified.EH offer periodic training events. EH guidelines exist for many techniques.EH to continue to offer periodic training events. EH and AEA to produce guidelines and standards where these are required. LA to ensure that full analysis takes place where justified and that work does not automatically stop at assessment level. EH, LA and AEA to determine if it is possible to produce an annual regional collation of environmental analysis reports.
18a: High resolution environmental analysis and dating for key periods.AI LAVery few high-resolution studies have been carried out for key periods (for example the Mesolithic–Neolithic or Post-Roman–Early Medieval transitions). Most periods would benefit from such work.Very few high resolution projects have been carried out (eg Sweet Track southern terminal). The Lyonesse Project is carrying out high-res environmental analysis and scientific dating of Mesolithic to Early Medieval peat and sand deposits in Scilly.MIRE project on Exmoor and Dartmoor may provide the opportunity for a high resolution study. Sweet Track work to be published.
18b: Exploration of the value of tufa deposits for environmental research.AI EH LATufa deposits exist in many places and can provide environmental data where other deposits (such as peat) are lacking.Several studies have been carried out on Mendip by Paul Davies (Bath Spa University).LA to promote assessment and analysis where suitable tufa deposits occur in DC work. EH and AI to provide advice.
18c: Quantifying and dating peat deposits, and assessing peat wastage rates.AI LA NE EH BGSWastage of peat deposits is significant for both archaeological and climate change reasons. More work is required to understand the extent and date of peat deposits and the rates of peat wastage.Some work on peat wastage rates has been carried out on the Somerset lowland moors. The extent of peat deposits is moderately well known across the region but significant areas of ignorance exist. The Lyonesse Project has verified peat deposits in the EH peat data base for Scilly and is carrying out a programme of scientific dating.The MIRE project for Exmoor and Dartmoor should be able to enhance knowledge on these issues in those two areas. Further research is planned on the lowland peat moors in Somerset (especially in the Axe valley and upper Parrett in Somerset).
18d: Analysis of colluvial and alluvial sequences.LA AI EHComparatively limited environmental work has been carried out on these types of deposit compared to peats. Need to link in with geologists and earth scientists.Some DC projects have undertaken such work, especially around the Severn Estuary.LA to ensure appropriate analysis occurs on suitable DC sites (such as Steart and Walpole in Somerset).
18e: Analysis of soils.EH LAVaried techniques (such as geochemical and DNA analysis) are now available to study soils, but are rarely used in commercial archaeology.RDA project at Gwithian in Cornwall.EH to ensure that the possibilities for analysis are included in periodic training events. LA and CA to use the techniques in DC projects.
19a: Early prehistoric bone analysis using new techniques.EH AIStable isotope analysis and laser ablation could be used on early prehistoric human and animal bone assemblages from early prehistoric sites.Little analysis in the region to date.Stable isotope analysis and laser ablation from bone from Kent’s cavern, Badger Hole and Gough’s Cave. Use new techniques on the calf’s tooth found in peat deposits dated to c. 4000 BC in the Isles of Scilly.
19b: Identifying changes in Medieval fishing.LA EH Mus AIAnalysis of fish bone collections could be carried out to determine the changing character of fishing in the Medieval period and when a change to deep sea fishing occurred.Existing work has been carried out on a national basis but few suitable assemblages from the SW have been identifiedLA and EH and Mus to try and identify existing fish bone collections from the region that could be used.
19c: The domestication of wild species.AEA EH AIAnalysis of the large body of data derived from DC projects is needed to help answer key research questions about the date and character of the domestication of wild animals in the region and how their character changed over time (such as the changing size of cattle and red deer).Very few works of synthesis have been carried out. Very little use of new techniques such as isotopic studies (eg Wessex iron Age hillfort project and horses). Review of Animal Remains from the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age of Southern Britain (Dale Serjeantson).Works of synthesis are required on bone collections from the region, ideally associated with isotope and DNA studies. 14 C dating and strontium, analysis of the calf’s tooth found peat deposits dated to c. 4000 BC in the Isles of Scilly is potentially very important.
20: Improve understanding of wild and cultivated plants. Partially referred to in aims 21 and 27.  
21a: Development of field systems and intensification of agriculture in the Bronze and Iron Ages.AI CA LAThere is some evidence for the development of field systems in the Bronze Age but information is very patchy.Much evidence exists in grey literature but has not been collated.Collation of all the regional data on the development of field systems and identification of sites for further dating. (Post-graduate?) study comparing differing data for changing agriculture in later prehistory (such as pollen, plant macrofossils, animal bone, evidence of fields etc). LA to include the environmental evidence for intensification of agriculture in later prehistory in DC work on suitable sites.
21b: Medieval and Post-Medieval agriculture.AI LAVery little environmental evidence for Medieval and later agriculture has been studied. Documentary evidence suggests significant changes over these periods. Many extensive marginal areas (floodplains, saltmarshes, uplands) were brought into cultivation.Some limited pollen work on late peat deposits on the Blackdown Hills and Exmoor. Historic landscape characterisation has mapped the extent of Medieval and later agriculture (such as reclamations, former open fields etc) but has seldom been linked to environmental evidence.LA to identify the need for such research on suitable DC work sites. MIRE project on Exmoor may include some analysis on Medieval deposits. Combine environmental, landscape character and documentary data in case studies of Medieval agriculture such as wetland reclamation, distribution and date of ridge and furrow across the region.
22: Insect studiesLAResearch priorities have been established for insect studies but analysis has been very patchy in the South West.Some analysis from peat deposits (for example the Somerset moors) and a few from urban areas.LA need to emphasise the research potential of insects wherever they survive on archaeological sites and include assessment in NPPF work.
23a: Sea level changeAI EH LA EA NE CBAThe region is known to have experienced dramatic changes to its coastline during the Holocene that had very significant effects on human populations. There are still numerous gaps in knowledge. Considerable work has taken place in the Scilly Isles and in other isolated spots. EHRSP priority.RCZA has summarised present information for the Severn. Martin Bell’s work on submerged forests is ongoing. Roland Gehrel is working on Holocene changes including some South-West information. Glenn Haveloc PhD on Taw estuary. Some ongoing studies in Somerset by Tony Brown and Keith Wilkinson. The Lyonesse Project in Scilly. Winchester University, Devon County Council, East Devon District Council and NE geoarchaeological work in lower Axe Valley.New data should be generated by large development projects on the coastline. South West region seminar/conference on Holocene coastal change (possibly with commercial sponsorship). Community coastal monitoring project in the Isles of Scilly.
23b: Holocene climate change.AI LA NE EHVarious things can be studied as proxy climate records (such as chironomidae) – the South West has no such record and this needs further work.Some isolated work on chironomids and insects exists in the region. The Lyonesse Project in Scilly.MIRE project on Exmoor may support work on establishing a proxy climate record using varied analysis of peat deposits. Curators should be aware of importance of climate change as a research topic in DC work.
24: Improve understanding of Pleistocene vertebrate fauna.AIKnown assemblages exist in caves on Mendip and in Devon and in isolated deposits such as Burtle Beds and require further study.Some reassessment of the Mendip evidence has taken place. Kent’s cavern excavation (Durham and Sheffield universities).Reanalysis and publication of the Honiton (Ipswichian) site. Analysis and dating of extant Burtle bed deposits (post-graduate study?). Possible excavations at Worth’s Bone cave, Plymouth. Prioritisation of samples for dating species extinctions (A Currant, Natural History Museum).
25a: Improve understanding of Late Upper Palaeolithic (LUP) landscape.AI EHLUP material in the South West is commonly just single artefact finds. LUP open air sites (as known on the Continent) need to be identified. EHRSP priority.Limited work in quarries.Reassessment of most significant LUP sites (such as Doniford).
25b: Improve understanding of Mesolithic landscape.AI Mus VS EHHow was the Mesolithic landscape altered by natural and anthropogenic factors. How was the landscape changed during the later Meso/early Neolithic period. EHRSP priority.Martin Bell is continuing to study the coastal Mesolithic landscape. Sheffield University have dated early charred grain (nationally). The Lyonesse Project in Scilly.14 C dating of charred domesticated grain and domesticated animals in existing museum collections thought to be of early Neolithic date.
26: Post-Roman to Early Medieval landscape changes.AI LAPollen studies could be used to suggest if significant landscape changes took place in the period, for example if there was significant woodland regeneration. Some coastal reclamation is known to have taken place and that process requires more study.Very few high-resolution pollen studies have been carried out on suitable deposits.MIRE project may provide a high resolution pollen study from this period. Steart realignment, Somerset, may provide an opportunity to study Early Medieval coastal reclamation.
27: Origin of free-threshing wheat (AD 350–1000).LA CA AEA EHEstablish the date of change from hulled to free-threshing wheat.Little from the key period.LA and CA to be aware of the importance of any grain deposits from this period in DC work. An assessment of possible suitable deposits from previous excavations could be done to prioritise ones for dating.

Theme D: Social Identity and Change – transition, identity, territories, conflict, religion and death

Research AimWhoResearch DirectionCurrent Research ExamplesSuggested Delivery Examples
49a: Improve knowledge of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age social life.AI EH NT VSLarge scale landscape projects, especially Dorset. Projects such as Maiden Castle. Stanton Drew, Avebury and Priddy Circles need further work and scientific support. Targeted work on petrology of axes and revision of axe chronology.Stonehenge Riverside Project. Stonehenge environs. Stonehenge Visitor Centre. South Somerset Archaeological Research Group. Mendip (Jodie Lewis, Worcester University). Mardon Henge (EH). EH Prehistoric draft strategy.Pottery studies and isotope analysis. Landscape projects to be encouraged. Local groups to be supported to publish.
49b: Early Bronze-Age graves.AI LAMultiple gravesBUFAU – Ann Woodward museum based – Leverhume. Graves research project. Islands in a Common Sea Project 14C dating of cremated bone from entrance graves and cists in the Isles of Scilly (Jacqui Mulville, Cardiff University and Katharine Sawyer). 
54a, 54b: Widen understanding of monumentality in the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age.AI EHDating and mapping of prehistoric landscapes such as Exmoor stone rows and Salisbury Plain. EHRSP priority.Leicester University research on “miniliths”. EH Prehistoric draft strategy.OSL dating.
54c: Single monument categoriesAI NT EHUse improved scientific dating techniques alongside modern field survey – GPS, laser, remote sensing for accurate survey of monuments. EHRSP priority.EH – redating early Neolithic causewayed enclosures; Cardiff University, A Whittle enclosures. Keyhole excavation and ground scanning technology. T Darvill, Bournemouth University Carn Brea.Bayesian statistics.
57a: Widen understanding of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age mortuary practice.LA AI MusLA to be aware of the need for dating to assist with landscape scale research. New skeletal studies required. Review of regional chronology.EH Prehistoric draft strategy. Isles of Scilly Historic Environment Research Framework. Islands in a Common Sea Project 14C dating of cremated bone from entrance graves and cists in the Isles of Scilly (Jacqui Mulville, Cardiff University and Katharine Sawyer). Cornwall and Devon prehistoric ceramic sequence (Henrietta Quinnell).Reanalysis of museum collections from some of key sites; use of graduate and forensic students for training and research. Assess regional collections and target for further analysis. Isotope analysis –a targeted programme of research where good bone samples survive.
57dLA CA MusProvision for 14C dating in DC excavations. Training for volunteers and students.Cornwall Archaeological Society “bone days”.14 C dating. Analysis of redeposited cremated bone.
61: Address the lack of knowledge of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age conflict.AI EH LAResearch on museum collections and archives for weapons, daggers, skeletal remains can be coordinated and provide important overview of what we already know. Key hillfort sites to be examined when DC opportunities arise such as at Ham Hill, Somerset.EH Prehistoric draft strategy.Analysis of skeletal remains. Dating/isotopes/DNA. Wear on weapons, metalwork on hillforts. Palaeopathology reports.
50: Improve understanding of the effects of the Roman army on the local population.AI VSRevision of distribution map of 1st-century forts. Evidence such as plant remains and environmental evidence is needed to help to define the impact of Roman army on local Iron-Age settlements.Hod Hill – D Stewart (E Dorset, Bournemouth University). CHERT Calstock Fort, Cornwall (Exeter University, Community, AONB)Scientific back up for local groups.
55 (59): Improve understanding of late-Roman religion.NT AI LAFocus needed on improved scientific techniques and co-ordination. Remapping of known sites in the region.NT is land-mapping sites and linking research opportunities with sampling work. Poundbury/Tolpuddle. Roman cemetery Chedworth study, Mike Fulford (NT)Isotope analysis and moisture, rain, oxygen. DNA. XRF.
58 (55): Widen our understanding of Roman burial traditions.LA EH AIImproved and focused scientific research, especially dating on targeted sites and on chance finds from developer led projects. Collaboration and dissemination of site evidence. Research using new techniques on existing collections.Harlyn Bay – Iron-Age burials sand dune site 1905 dig project.Isotope analysis. DNA
51: Utilise the high-quality evidence from the region to investigate Early Medieval ethnicities and identities.NT AI LAArtefactual and scientific techniques. Cist burials in Devon and Cornwall. Regional/local variations.SANHS/Aston “Somerset in the Ages of Arthur and Alfred”. Hadown Hill – coast site being looked at by the NT. MPRG research strategy.Geophysical survey. Isotope analysis.
51b: Petrology and pottery studiesAI VSCornish sites, Medieval pottery, Cornish pasties.EH – Andy Payne Ham Hill. Niall Sharples – Ham Hill 
62: Examine the evidence for Early Medieval defence and conflict sites across the region.AI EH NT LAA programme of fieldwork to assess hillfort re-occupation. Link to management plans and conservation of monuments – co-ordination of organisations. Increased use of scientific dating techniques. Bodies in ditches. Dating from hillforts.
59: Utilise the potential for good evidence from Early Medieval burials to address research questions.AI EHInstigate programme of field investigation of sites that have past records of bone survival in otherwise poor-preservation areas. Research on existing collections.  
60: Use the excavation of Medieval burials to study wider population and social issues.AI EH LA DAC MusCo-ordinate/map piecemeal work across region. Research on existing collections. National standards and guidance. Seminar to address dealing with discoveries brought about by the redevelopment of historic cemetery sites.EH guidance.Routine analysis of bone assemblages. Isotope analysis.
52: Use archaeological evidence to better understand identities, such as Cornish, through time.AI VSIdentity and link to the Atlantic. Documentary work – medieval celts and the west. Assessment of relevant museum collections.Oliver Padel – C6–8 kingdom. Henrietta Quinnell – Cornish Bronze-Age pottery.Linguistics megaliths and western seaboard. DNA. Pottery studies.
56: Utilise surviving buildings and records to understand liturgical and social change in Post-Medieval to Modern places of worship and cemeteries.HLF VS AI DAC CCTThere is huge potential for local recording of churches, chapels and graveyards to established methodologies to allow synthesis of this information. Local Heritage Projects. Training for local groups.HER 21. NADFAS. EH urban strategy.Church interiors. Documentary research
64: Improve understanding of the less-researched areas of Post-Medieval to Modern defence and warfare.AI VS PAS AIA LA NT EHVoluntary sector well placed to identify and research the less popular areas of 20th-century and earlier defensive activity.HER 21. EH urban strategy.Metal detector surveys. Data collection such as the Defence of Britain project. Local Lists and recording information. Links to history/oral history. Survival and condition surveys. Documentary research.

Theme E: Economies and Subsistence – trade, subsistence, agriculture, transport and communication

Research AimWhoResearch DirectionCurrent Research ExamplesSuggested Delivery Examples
39: Understand better the relationships of Neolithic and Bronze Age people to plants.EH AI LARaise awareness amongst LA archaeologists and others of research needs. Academic institutions to establish research programme.EH Prehistoric draft strategy. Isles of Scilly Historic Environment Research Framework.Scientific dating and environmental analysis.
40: Improve understanding of agricultural intensification and diversification in later prehistory.EH AI LARaise awareness amongst LA archaeologists and others of research needs. Academic institutions to establish research programme.EH Prehistoric draft strategy. Isles of Scilly Historic Environment Research Framework.Scientific dating and environmental analysis.
41: Assess the impact of the Roman empire on farming.EH LA VSAnalyse existing resources, including previous excavations, museum collections, unpublished reports.EH Roman research strategy.Scientific dating and environmental analysis.
46: Assess the information for Roman ports.EH AI LAExtend the programme of coastal zone assessments to complete the region and ensure that potential, more inland, locations are covered.RCZA.Climate change. Dissertation study.
47: Assess the archaeological potential for studying Medieval economy, trade, technology and production.AI VSRegional or local works of synthesis. Museum collections.Isles of Scilly Historic Environment Research FrameworkDissertation
42: Improve understanding of medieval farming.VS LA EH NEFocus on water meadows and water management.NHPP – water managementMedieval weirs and mills.
43: Address the lack of knowledge of Post-Medieval to Modern food production.LA VSNPPF building recording. Encourage research by all sectors into this topic.EH urban research strategy. Isles of Scilly Historic Environment Research Framework.Historic farmsteads. C20 food production.
48 (53): Widen understanding of Post-Medieval and Modern transport and communications.AI LA AIA VS EHSurvey of associated structures on local/regional basis. National overview by EH.Brunel Institute – research facilities for maritime studies. EH urban strategy. Isles of Scilly Historic Environment Research Framework.Support local groups – eg for tram and bus depots, regional study of civilian airfields and manufacturing sites.

Theme F: Widening Access and Interpretation – engaging the public, accessing resources.

Research AimWhoResearch DirectionCurrent Research ExamplesSuggested Delivery Examples
2: Encourage works of synthesis within and across periods, settlements, monuments and areas.AI VS EH CBA NTAcademic Institutions to give a higher priority to research based on synthesis and ensure that the results are published and/or deposited with HER. Encourage collaboration between LAs and AIs. Support voluntary sector to produce works of synthesis by reference to models.Sea Mills project. West Penwith project (EH/NT). Isles of Scilly Historic Environment Research Framework. 
4: Encourage wide involvement in archaeological research and present modern accounts of the past to the public.Mus EH VS AI LAPublication and dissemination through all available media. Encourage networks to involve the public, such as “friends” organisations or community archaeology groups. Museums to ensure that recent developments are incorporated, particularly in museums without archaeological specialistsHER 21. Hillsboro hillfort, Ilfracombe, geophysics. 25 local volunteers HLF bid to AONB and North Devon District Council. Community archaeology groups in the Isles of Scilly and on the Lizard peninsula, Cornwall.Local training opportunities. Community history projects. Key into local government programmes and cross curricular school activities. Updated web pages.
6: Accurate reporting and identification of metal-detected items in ways that benefit archaeological research.EH PAS Mus LA VSA review of the archaeological benefits of the PAS. Appropriate resourcing of archaeological responses to PAS finds.PASData exchange between museums, HERs and PAS.
11: Improve knowledge and study of under-utilised museum collections.Mus EH VSImproved training for museum staff and volunteers in archaeological materials. Digitisation – improving access to collections via internet. Prepare and implement a programme for the study and publication of the North Devon pottery industry.Inter-university lipid analysis – Cornwall, Bristol, Cardiff. Devon virtual museum – HLF bid. Exeter PhD on Post-Medieval pottery resources in local museums. 
12: Improve access to, and synthesis of, “Grey Literature”.LA EH AI CA VS NTAll archaeological fieldwork reported to HER and written reports deposited in an accessible form. Address issue of university grey literature – regional procedural review.90% of Bristol’s grey literature should be online within five years.Support works of synthesis.
13: Identify and bring to publication key unpublished excavations,EH HLF Mus LA NTHERs to identify unpublished fieldwork and the location of archives should be established and assessed for their potential to answer research questions. Funding should be made available for publication of key sites.Isles of Scilly Historic Environment Research Framework.Make universities aware of opportunities for project work/PhD topics.
37: Increase our knowledge of maritime archaeological sites.EH MMO PAS LAEnhance the maritime components of HERs. Encourage reporting by divers of wreck and other sea-bed material. ALSF finishing – what next?RCZA EH Maritime research strategy. The Lyonesse Project. Isles of Scilly Historic Environment Research Framework.Data collection from sources such as Hydrographic office.
Establish regional seminar and sub regional seminarsLA CBAMaintain impetus of strategy via website and regional bodies organising annual seminars.CBA regional conference on Mesolithic. 

Theme G: Funding and Resources

Research AimWhoResearch DirectionCurrent Research ExamplesSuggested Delivery Examples
Applicable to all.    

Theme H: Methodologies – developing new approaches and techniques

Research AimWhoResearch DirectionCurrent Research ExamplesSuggested Delivery Examples
1: Extend the use of proven methodologies for site location and interpretation, and encourage the development of new techniques.AI EH LA VS HLFAcademic institutions should consider the research aims when developing projects. HERs together with the NMR should agree standards for what should be recorded in a HER. HERs that do not meet these standards should be funded to achieve them. Local societies should consider the potential for detailed investigation of particular areas that could lead to “Shapwick”-style projects across the region.Isles of Scilly Historic Environment Research Framework. 
3: Address apparent “gaps” in our knowledge and assess whether they are meaningful or simply biases in current knowledge.AI LA VSAcademic institutions to give a higher priority to research to assess the nature and “reality” of these gaps. LA to influence the scope required of developer-funded archaeology. Support for voluntary sector grants.Isles of Scilly Historic Environment Research Framework. 
5: Study of artefact scatters using innovative methodologies both in the field and on previous collections.AI VS Mus EH PASEncourage a new phase of research into artefact scatter methodologies. Well-trained volunteers to identify and reassess old and new collections. Assess museum grey collections – quantity and quality.PAS A project is currently being developed (Clive Bond), to enable this resource to be better understood and integrated into existing heritage protection systems. Part of the project design is a regional pilot study in the South-West region.Training of volunteers.
7: Increase and develop the recording of the built environment and improve the recording of archaeological collections and other information sources. 8: Utilise the survival of Medieval and later artefacts and buildings to their full extent. 9: Prioritise a recording strategy for buildings related to Post-Medieval to Modern social provision.EH LA Mus VSDevelop policies for the recording of buildings during development that will help to address identified research topics (NPPF). English Heritage to review and develop techniques of landscape and townscape characterisation – to feed into local development frameworks. Museums, archives and HERs to adopt best-practice recording methods. CBA regional conference for Medieval and Post-Medieval artefacts and buildings.EH Urban research strategy. Isles of Scilly Historic Environment Research Framework.HLC guidance for local societies (EH).
Increase communication between academic sector and local authority archaeologists.AI LASet up and encourage knowledge-transfer projects between Universities and Local Authorities.OASIS. The Lyonesse Project. Isles of Scilly Historic Environment Research Framework.

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