Scottish Strategic Archaeology Committee

Please note that much of the information on this page is no longer current. The latest updates to the SSAC can be found on their own website at

 Introducing the Scottish Strategic Archaeology Committee

Scottish Strategic Archaeology Committee

Members of the SSAC at its first meeting at Edinburgh Castle on Tuesday 29th October 2013. From left to right: Mike Elliot (HS – secretariat); Rod McCullagh; Eila Macqueen; Mark Hall; Pete Hinton; Ian Walford (Chief Executive, Historic Scotland); Dr Chris Bowles; Matt Ritchie; Simon Stronach; Dr Simon Gilmour; Dr Alan Leslie; Dr Rebecca Jones; Robin Turner; Dr Lisa Brown (HS – in attendance); Susan Kruse; Professor Stephen Driscoll (Chair); Luke Wormald. Not in photograph: Dr Karen Milek

The Scottish Strategic Archaeology Committee (SSAC) was formed in 2013. One of the first roles of the Committee is to provide advice and guidance to the Archaeology Strategy Team (AST) at Historic Scotland (Historic Environment Scotland from 2015) on the development and implementation of the Archaeology Strategy for Scotland.

A review of the Historic Scotland Archaeology function in 2012 included the recommendation that:

Historic Scotland should establish an Archaeology Forum for Scotland to provide advice in the development and implementation of the strategy and on funding priorities. A key task for the forum could be to ensure that the strategy is kept live by keeping up-to-date with latest research in Scotland and elsewhere. The forum could be committee in format and size.

To meet this requirement, HS has recruited a group of committee members from a wide spectrum of expertise across Scottish and British archaeology.

Scotland’s Archaeology Strategy is taking its lead from Our Place in Time, the Historic Environment Strategy for Scotland (2014) and is looking at the way in which archaeology contributes to the vision for the Historic Environment. The Strategy also seeks to work with Going Further: the National Strategy for Scotland’s Museums and Galleries, cognisant of the key role that Museums play in the investigation, curation and celebration of our archaeological heritage.

The ethos behind the strategy is to demonstrate the continued relevance and value of  archaeology, ensuring the widest participation in its role in our understanding of Scottish place-making and identity, so enriching and improving the quality of people’s lives.


The aims of the SSAC are to:

1.         Offer advice and guidance to the Archaeology Strategy Team within HistoricScotland.

2.         Represent key areas of expertise in the sector.

3.         Assist in the creation and promotion of an Archaeology Strategy for Scotland.



The SSAC is Chaired by Professor Stephen Driscoll, Professor of Medieval Archaeology at the University of Glasgow and a Historic Scotland Advisory Board member. Secretariat support is provided by the Historic Scotland Archaeology Strategy Team. Colleagues have been invited from across the sector with expertise in the following key areas:

·         Archaeological Science

·         Commercial Archaeology

·         Clients / Development interests

·         Community / Voluntary Archaeology

·         Education and Archaeology

·         Land Management

·         Local Authority Archaeology

·         Museums

·         The Professional Institute (Institute for Archaeologists)

·         University Archaeology

In addition, there will be links to the Scottish Archaeological Research Framework (ScARF) in the first iteration of the committee (through representation from the ScARF Steering Group) and a connection with the 2015 Dig It! initiative. There will also be links to the Built Environment Forum Scotland Historic Environment Working Group (BEFS HEWG) through a member with designated responsibility for liaison with BEFS. Committee members can represent multiple areas of interest or expertise on the committee if necessary.

There will be a representative from RCAHMS in the initial phase of the Committee and from the Historic Environment Policy Unit (HEPU) within the Scottish Government in the first term in order to provide links with the Historic Environment Strategy. Subsequent to the creation of HES, representation from within the organisation and HEPU can be considered further.

There will also be a representative from the HS Advisory Board who will provide the link between the HS Advisory Board and the SSAC. This is provided by Professor Stephen Driscoll, the Chair of the SSAC. We anticipate there being representation from the Board of Historic Environment Scotland once it is established.

Committee members will serve four year terms, although it is anticipated that the first group of committee members will serve between 2-5 years to ensure that there isn’t a sudden change of membership in 2017. Members will only serve one term to ensure regular change of personnel and dynamism to the committee.

The committee will meet three times a year.

The Group will report annually to the Chief Executive of Historic Scotland (Historic Environment Scotland from 2015).

Members of the Committee are as follows:

Area of expertise




Date to leave Committee

Archaeological Science

Dr Karen Milek


Aberdeen University


Commercial Archaeology

Dr Alan Leslie


Northlight Heritage


Clients / Development interests

Simon Stronach

Senior Associate Director

CgMS Consulting


Community / Voluntary Archaeology

Susan Kruse

Project Officer

ARCH – Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands


Education and Archaeology

Eila Macqueen


Archaeology Scotland


Land Management

Matt Ritchie


Forestry Commission Scotland


Local Authority Archaeology

Dr Chris Bowles

Archaeology Officer

Scottish Borders Council



Mark Hall

History Officer

Perth Museum & Art Gallery


The Professional Institution

Pete Hinton

Chief Executive

Institute for Archaeologists


University Archaeology

Professor Stephen Driscoll

Professor of Historical Archaeology

University of Glasgow



Dr Simon Gilmour


Society of Antiquaries of Scotland



Robin Turner

Head of Survey & Recording




Luke Wormald

Head of Strategy

Scottish Government


HS Archaeology Strategy

Dr Rebecca Jones

Head of Archaeology Strategy

Historic Scotland


HS Archaeology Strategy

Rod McCullagh

Deputy Head of Archaeology Strategy

Historic Scotland


In addition, others may be invited to attend as appropriate.

Minutes and agenda of the meetings will be added below as they are published.


Title and Date Author Download link File size
August 2015. Analysis of Consultation Responses ODS Consulting  download the .pdf (180Kb)
August 2015. Strategy update following consultation   .download the .pdf (267Kb)