International Journal of Historical Archaeology

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 442–462 | Cite as

Scottish Historical Archaeology: International Agendas and Local Politics

  • Stephen T. Driscoll


Historical archaeology as practiced in Scotland is divergent from the mainstream tradition of historical archaeology/post-medieval archaeology that dominates North America and the English-speaking world. Cultural and historical forces have shaped an historical archaeology with a deeper time depth, which extends back into the Middle Ages. It also focuses on different subjects reflecting the political concerns associated with Scottish national identity. Examples drawn from Glasgow’s history are used to illustrate the distinctiveness of the Scottish tradition and how it is evolving. I argue that one of its strengths of Scottish historical archaeology is that it provides a corrective contrast to the subjects and approaches which dominate historical archaeology in the English-speaking world.


Medieval Glasgow Govan Modernity 



The material covered here has had several outings. First as “Govan and Glasgow: a tale of two burghs or a parable of Scottish Historical Archaeology” at the “Scottish Archaeology and the Invention of the Modern World” session at the SHA Conference, York 2005. In 2006 it underpinned a pair of lectures in Stockholm, which provided some valuable feedback. I am also grateful to Chris Dalgish and an anonymous referee for their sound advice. Katherine Forsyth has worked her usual magic on my prose.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ArchaeologyUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK

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