8.5 Research recommendations

From the detailed recommendations above, the following have been identified as key future research areas and issues:

  1. There is considerable value to broad-scale comparisons with other areas of the Britain, the broader Atlantic zone and the Continent for both specific similarities and differences, and more general analogies.
  2. The high quality of aspects of the Scottish material (e.g. well-preserved stone and burnt-down timber roundhouses) has information to offer the wider scholarly community, and should be presented more on an international stage.
  3. Roman studies need to be integrated within the wider research environment of Iron Age enquiry, highlighting questions of the impact of the juxtaposition, and its legacy on subsequent developments in Scotland. Roman Scotland and its rich data could be engaged within wider theoretical perspectives (e.g. current concerns with issues of ethnicity and identity) and contribute to wider Iron Age studies on those topics.
  • a) In order for the relationships between local communities and Rome to be fully explored, Roman finds need to be integrated with other sources of evidence (including Iron Age material culture), regional analysis and synthesis needs to be undertaken, and artefact datasets published.
  • b) The life-cycle of Roman material on Iron Age sites needs closer attention than it has traditionally received.
  • c) Traprain is a pivotal site for understanding interactions with the Roman world. Full publication of existing data and further fieldwork are required.
  • d) Hybrid forms of material culture, such as glass bangles and Roman Iron Age / Romano-British metalwork, merit more research.
  1. Investigation of the impact of different frontiers (e.g. Hadrian's Wall cf Antonine Wall), the differential and long-term impact either side of a frontier (e.g. Hadrian's Wall), and broad comparative perspective to other frontier areas would make an important research project.
  2. There is much scope for further research into the longer-term impact of Rome, especially in relation to major social changes:
  • a) The introduction and spread of Christianity
  • b) Emergence of larger polities which formed the core of the early Medieval kingdoms.
  • A series of other significant social changes which are of relevance far beyond Scotland merit sustained research effort. Key among these are:
    • a) The introduction of iron: causes, effects, and uptake
    • b) Major changes in the earlier Iron Age, with evidence of increasing stability of settlements and changes in agricultural practice.
    • c) Developing changes in the later Iron Age, with signs of increasing complexity