3.6 Multiple Scales of Analysis

Until quite recently research into the Scottish Iron Age has been hampered by the comparative paucity of material culture associated with the rich settlement record, and the problems of defining the chronology of that record. This is what the campaign of excavations by the Piggotts in the late 1940s and 1950s was attempting to address, but without any independent dating and scientific analyses the possibilities of defining the Iron Age more closely and tying it back into the wider landscape were extremely limited. This situation has now been revolutionised by the extensive application of radiocarbon dating, a dramatic increase in excavated data over the last ten to twenty years, and the development of sophisticated scientific techniques. Research can and should now aspire to be multi-facetted, operating at a range of scales from national to regional and local to explore how individuals and communities related to their landscape. More than this it should also aspire to use the detail of aspects of Scottish data to contribute to European prehistory.