About this Framework

Using the framework

The information presented on this site falls into two parts. First, for each section there is a summary text that provides an overview of our understanding of the archaeological resource in South Yorkshire for that period. This discusses important sites and finds, research trends and regional particularities. Second, there is a set of questions thought relevant to the study of the human past in South Yorkshire for that period. Inevitably, the content and questions are best thought of as a starting point, as the material and ideas presented are by no means exhaustive

All archaeological work should be research-driven. In order to maximise the potential information gained from research or fieldwork, it is important to set out relevant research questions through the project design. For example, what sort of features or finds do we expect the site to contain? What do we want to know about these? With this in mind, how can we design our project to effectively gather meaningful data?

We hope that the questions suggested here will assist researchers and field investigators to design specific objectives for their work, and to consider appropriate methodologies to reach those objectives. The questions should be suitable for use in project designs for archaeological fieldwork or wider research. However, as the questions are not intended to be definitive, consideration should also be given to how they could be refined, or whether supplementary or entirely different questions are appropriate, for any individual project. Of course, not all questions can be anticipated in advance of a project, so the questions set out in the project design should also be revisited during the course of work and reviewed.

The text and questions are copyright Historic England and South Yorkshire Archaeology Service, and are available for use under the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence. This means anyone can use this material in its original or adapted form, but attribution must be given to the original. Any redistribution of material based on this content must be shared under the same licence. The exception is made for the images found on this site, which may not be shared or redistributed without the explicit consent of the copyright holder. For full details of the licence see below:


Contributing to the framework

The research framework is a living document and it is intended that it will be periodically reviewed. Future archaeological fieldwork and wider research will add to our understanding of South Yorkshire’s historic environment. Members of the community may know of sites or other information not presented here, and maybe will spot the odd factual error!

If you have information that will help us update the research framework, then please use the comments section to log this. These comments will be periodically reviewed and the information taken into account for revisions of the material presented on the site. We would note that although we are using the comments section for the purpose of gathering contributions, the intention is not to have a live discussion, so please don’t expect a prompt response!

The project to develop the framework

This research framework was developed from 2018 to 2021. Funding was provided by Historic England and the project was undertaken by South Yorkshire Archaeology Service. Specialists were commissioned to prepare initial drafts for the various periods and themes presented in the framework. Comments on these were gathered at workshops and by correspondence, from the wider historic environment community of South Yorkshire. Following this, the specialists produced updated drafts that, with alterations for style and format, are now presented here.


Thanks especially to the principal authors of the framework: Paul Pettitt (Palaeolithic), Penny Spikins (Mesolithic), Tim Cockrell (Neolithic and Bronze Age), Adrian Chadwick (Iron Age and Romano-British), Patrick Ottoway (Roman), Samantha Stein (Early Medieval), Ian Roberts (Later Medieval), Dinah Saich (Post-Medieval and Industrial), Chris Cumberpatch (Medieval and later pottery), Peter Ryder (Medieval and later buildings) and Ellen Simmons (Archaeobotany).

Also, thanks to all those members of the wider historic environment community who attended the workshops or provided comments on the material circulated. They are too many to mention individually here, but the support given and the responses made were invaluable; the research framework would not be the same without their input.

Dan Miles, Andy Hammon and David Mullin of Historic England helped support the project throughout. Wider support was provided by our steering group members, Ken Smith, Dave Barrett and Dawn Hadley. Dinah Saich managed the project for South Yorkshire Archaeology Service and Zac Nellist was the project officer, coordinating project work and publishing the research framework here.

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