Introducing the NE Scotland Regional Research Framework

framework graphicThe Scottish Archaeological Research Framework (ScARF) provides a national overview highlighting our current knowledge of what happened in the past, what gaps we have in that knowledge, and what research needs to be done. To support the national framework a local one has been created, the NE Scotland Regional Research Framework. It covers the period 40,000 BC - 1100 AD and is designed to link into ScARF, while developing in more detail our understanding of the historic environment here in the NE. It enables anyone wishing to contribute to the research to plan their work, ensure that their work is relevant, and that it is effective in developing our understanding of the past.

The Framework for the North-east of Scotland includes the geographic areas as defined by Moray, Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen City and Angus Local Authority boundaries. These areas largely coincide with natural features such as rivers, glens and mountains that make the Framework boundary relevant to any period’s activities. Full details of the how the Framework has been put together can be found in the NE Scotland Archaeological Research Framework Introduction (pdf 244KB).

It is recognised that dates for any period can be debated, but it is hoped that the results from this framework will eventually resolve this issue. However, in order to establish manageable divisions of time for analysis in the meantime, the Framework uses the following Chronological Table:

Lower Upper Palaeolithic

40,000BC – 8000BC


8000BC – 4000BC

Transition Period 1


Early Neolithic      

4000BC – 3300BC

Late Neolithic      

3300BC – 2500BC

Transition Period 2



2500BC – 2200BC

Early Bronze Age


2200BC – 1800BC

Middle Bronze Age  

1800BC – 1300BC

Late Bronze Age      

1300BC – 800BC

Transition Period 3


Earlier Iron Age

800BC – 400BC*

Later Iron Age

400BC – 1AD

Roman Iron Age  

1AD – 250AD

Late Roman Iron Age 

250AD – 400AD

Transition Period 4


Early Medieval

400AD – 900AD

Late Early Medieval

900AD – 1100AD

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