5.6 The Future

The framework has identified the following key future research areas and issues:

  1. Revisiting museum collections with a fresh eye to reassess those objects with inscriptions is key to understanding the deployment of the written word.
  2. There is clearly a need for comprehensive regional surveys of grave monuments across Scotland to improve the understanding of their dating, symbolism and regional types. Such surveys need to involve geologists to identify the types of rock used and their sources;
  3. The need for an emboldened practice of archaeology which rather than seeing archaeology as text, takes on text as material culture/archaeology. Text is a technological, material culture innovation linked into a network of signs, symbols and thought processes. As useful as metaphor is, archaeology as text can only ever be a metaphor where as text as archaeology or material culture is an experienced, imaginatively rich, reality of life.
  4. Scottish studies of material culture and monumentality need to develop a greater understanding of the ways in which they they reflect sensory perception, memory and play cultures at work. In archaeological terms these are relatively neglected areas that offer the potential to enrich understanding of past social behaviours.