The Scotland-Ireland Archaeological Seminar

Rubicon was delighted to take part in a fantastic seminar on collaboration between the archaeological sectors of Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland last week in Edinburgh. Hosted by Historic Scotland and located in Queen Anne’s Room of the spectacular Edinburgh Castle, the event provided a rare opportunity to compare and contrast the operation of the archaeological sector across the three jurisdictions. A note of thanks are due to Rebecca Jones of Historic Scotland who organized the event and Pat Bourne, the Consul General of Ireland who hosted a post-event reception at the Irish consulate in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Castle, the setting for the Seminar

Edinburgh Castle, the setting for the Seminar

The event commenced with three presentations from the three jurisdictions chaired by Professor Gabriel Cooney of University College Dublin. Ann Lynch (National Monuments Service) spoke for the Republic of Ireland, John O’Keefe (DoE, NI) spoke for Northern Ireland, and Rebecca Jones (Historic Scotland) spoke for Scotland. All three discussed the current operations of the state sponsored heritage agencies in the three jurisdictions and focused on the challenges of work through the recent economic difficulties.

Following on from the presentation, the attendees broke up into six working groups to discuss the following topics:

  • Climate Change
  • Digital Data
  • Continuing Professional Development / Skills
  • World Heritage
  • Communication and Interpretation
  • Partnerships and Community Archaeology

Following lunch a further break out session was held exploring the following topics:

  • Innovation
  • Research Frameworks
  • Regulation / Protecting Archaeological in the Development Process / Specification of Works
  • Conservation / Protection of Monuments
  • Tourism and Tourist Trails
  • Dissemination and Publication

The outcome of the event was a much greater understanding of the sector across all three jurisdictions and an identification of areas of potential collaboration in numerous areas. It was considered vital that the dialogue which commenced at this venue should be continued into the future. The day’s (official) events concluded at the Consulate General of Ireland with speeches from Pat Bourne (Consul General of Ireland) and Ian Walford (CEO, Historic Scotland). Here’s looking forward to many more such collaborative meetings!

The delegates leaving the Castle after a rewarding day

The delegates leaving the Castle after a rewarding day

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