7.7 Research recommendations

  1. There is a need for more integrated approaches to understanding daily lives in the past by drawing together different sources of evidence.
  2. The function of key categories of evidence remains obscure.
  3. The role of decoration and colour in Iron Age societies remains to be investigated.
  4. There is great potential for more modelling of social structures. Can archaeology provide evidence to suggest what social mechanisms might have appeared, disappeared and changed over time? Can the our 'long view' of change be used more effectively? It is likely that a number of different social and political formations would have existed syn- and diachronically across Scotland.
  5. More studies of the evidence for movement of materials, objects, ideas, and people are required in order to understand more about the motives for, and impact of, movement.
  6. Are there regional differences to ritual practice?
  7. The occurrence of structured deposits is relatively well researched in Atlantic Scotland, but less so elsewhere (Haselgrove et al. 2001, 8-9). The Scottish evidence would benefit from a national and regional review and synthesis.
  8. Why were certain sites chosen for hoards? There is potential to characterise these sites that suffer from a distinct lack of contextual information. Environmental deposits and ecofactual information may be locked in the waterlogged contexts that produced prestige metalwork or other ceremonial deposits. Fresh hoard finds should be excavated to gain an understanding of their context.
  9. Renewed synthesis of the expanded range of burial evidence is a desideratum