Training is an essential part of feeling confident with the work you are doing as an investigator of the historic landscape. During the course of the SRP project we provided free training in archaeological field survey techniques and historical document research to Scotland's Rural Past volunteers to help them get started and to develop best practice in their field work and research.
RCAHMS aims to continue running training courses, in partnership with other heritage-sector organisations where appropriate. A small number of courses are likely to be run each year in archaeological field recording and historical document research. Other courses and workshops may be developed in the future, so if you have any suggestions for possible training courses, please get in touch with the Community Archaeology Team. Information about forthcoming training will be sent round to people on the volunteer list, and will also be posted on the RCAHMS website 'News' page.
You may also find our publication A Practical Guide to Recording Archaeological Sites a useful tool for your survey work.
Our training courses in Archaeological Survey and Recording provided a thorough background in the skills and knowledge required to survey and record deserted rural settlement sites. They also provided an opportunity to work with experienced archaeologists and surveyors in an informal atmosphere and to meet people with similar interests from other areas.
Courses were held throughout Scotland, in response to volunteer demand and training is conducted in the field, at deserted township and farmstead sites chosen to be representative of those commonly found in the local area. SRP ran over 40 fieldwork training courses since Spring 2007, from Shetland and the Western Isles to the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway.
Training was delivered by experts from RCAHMS and SRP and was tailored specifically to suit the needs and the experience each group. It covered the following topics:
What are you looking for?
What are you looking at?
How do you record it?
All of these topics are covered in our publication A Practical Guide to Recording Archaeological Sites.
Our Historical Document training courses introduced the principal sources available for the study of deserted rural settlements in Scotland and how to access them.
Courses were run in collaboration with colleagues at the RCAHMS and regional archives. They covered the following topics:
Introduction to the records
Maps and plans
Census records and valuation rolls
Accessing the resources
National archive and library resources
Local archive and library resources
Site visits and orientations
Introduction to the RCAHMS and its collections
Introduction to the National Archives of Scotland, or, local archives and their collections
Introduction to the National Library of Scotland and its collections (for courses based in Edinburgh)
These topics are covered in our publication A Practical Guide to Recording Archaeological Sites and the Historic Documents guidance notes which we prepared over the course of SRP.
Archaeological Survey and Recording
Historic Document Research