7.5 Research Recommendations

In order to develop understanding of the relationship between people and place in modern Scotland, future research should

  1. Develop understandings of all stages of the life history of modern places. A biographical approach to place is potentially very enlightening, plays to archaeology’s strengths and articulates well with the kind of detailed and interpretive buildings archaeology being carried out in Scotland today.
  2. Explore the reciprocal relationship between people and place and the practices through which places were lived and inhabited. Places are meaningful through their daily use as well as their design. Understanding the reciprocity between people and place, as places constrain and enable a certain set of relationships, and as people reshape their spaces to suit their needs, understandings and aspirations, is the central focal object of study.
  3. Build on empirical knowledge of places to interpret their character and significance in human terms. There is a great deal of high quality and sophisticated primary recording and interpretation of individual structures and places; the next step is to utilise this material, moving beyond recording to questions of social interpretation such as class or power relations.
  4. Develop more collaborative modes of enquiry for the investigation of modern places. Both scientific understanding and an imaginative approach to identifying archaeological questions are necessary for a more holistic approach to interrelations between people, health, place and environment.

In all of the above, the over-arching aim should be to provide a deep perspective on modern life by revealing, evidencing and interpreting the recent history of relationships between people and place.