ScAPA (Scottish Archaeological Periods & Ages)

A 4 month project on Period Terminology Research for Scottish Chronology was funded by Historic Environment Scotland 2017-2018. Archaeologists in Scotland have experienced difficulty reaching a uniform consensus concerning historical periods and date ranges. The process of periodization involves the subdivision of time into discrete named blocks representing periods, utilising knowledge of past events. The aim of the project was to document named periods and associated date ranges within an openly available published periodization. This extensible framework could provide relative context for dating of events and artefacts that could be useful for categorization and temporal orientation of Scottish cultural heritage records. 

The outcome was converted to SKOS RDF and published on as a new Scottish period list. A final workshop was held on Thursday 15th March 2018 at the Historic Environment Scotland offices in Edinburgh. The workshop was well attended with presentations from HES, HE and ScARF, ADS, and USW. The opening presentations provided a context for the current research, namely to provide authoritative reference vocabularies for the redevelopment of OASIS and to encourage interoperability between OASIS and the emerging Regional Research Frameworks. The USW ScAPA presentation generated a good level of interest and debate around the subject of Scottish periods, there was particular enthusiasm shown for the demonstrated principle of including Gaelic translations of terms and scope notes.  The project was described on the Scottish Archaeology Research Framework (ScARF) website, with a link to the final implementation report by Ceri Binding.