EAA Conference Session

The Network recently hosted a conference session at the European Association of Archaeologists in Glasgow.

The conference abstract can be viewed at the EAA2015 website.

A series of excellent papers were given by our collaborators including John Ljungkvist, Sæbjørg Walaker Nordeide, Alan Miller, Rhiannon Comeau, David Petts, Jana Maříková-Kubková and Oliver O’Grady.


Conference News: Royal Scone A Scottish Medieval Royal centre in Europe

We are pleased to report on our highly successful network conference that took place in Perth (Scotland) during 27 – 29 November 2014. This interdisciplinary conference celebrated the first modern excavations at Scone by bringing together academics working on aspects of royal centres and ceremony from across Northern Europe.

The conference audience enjoyed a wide-ranging series of facinating talks by leading authorities in their field. The presentations covered new research about central places from accross Nothern Europe. Our broad chonological scope explored sites from the Migration Period, through to modern political reappropriations of these powerfully symbolic places, and complexities in the conservation managment of these often vast multi-phased complexes that are affected by competing public uses.

The conference programme and abstracts for the talks can be viewed by following this link.

For the benefit of those who could not attend we have posted links to videos of the conference talks below. Some of the talks are not available due to copyright restriction:


Session 1: Scone: Exploration and Interpretation

Oliver O’Grady (video not currently available)

Richard Fawcett (video not currently available)

Lucinda Dean

Richard Millar

Matthew Hammond

Alan Miller


Session 2: Royal Assembly sites and Ceremonies

Gordon Noble

Alexandra Sanmark

Andrew Johnson

Patrick Gleeson

Jan-henrik Fallgren


Session 3: Royal stones and thrones

David Rollason

Øystein Erkoll

David Caldwell


Plenary Lecture

Elizabeth FitzPatrick (no video available)


Session 5: Heritage interpretation and exploration of Royal Centres

Judith Ley

John Ljungkvist

Jana Maríková-Kubková

Karsten Ley

Alastair Mann

Erica Utsi (no video available)


A series of discussion panels facilitated a rigous debate between the sessions. Key themes of convergence to emerge were reassessment and critique of traditional Celtic / Roman dicotomies inherent within established interpretive models of northern royal centres. Specific convergence was identified in the central role of the royal hall accross period and geographical boundaries; the shared role of elite hunting, public games and horse racing, and symbolic stone thrones in both the Celtic and Roman worlds; and links between elite burial, processional ceremony, cultic practice and control of elite craft production. The proceedings of the conference are to be published in a peer-reviewed monograph.

Through this blog we hope to continue the debate online with our network collaborators and the wider community. We also plan a further conference session at next year’s EAA Glasgow 2015,  entitled ‘Medieval royal centres, the heritage of power and national identity’, which I pleased to say has been accepted so please take note.

The Perth conference was co-organised by Dr Oliver O’Grady (OJT Heritage / Independent Researcher) and Professor Richard Oram (University of Stirling). This event was funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh Research Network Grant: www.royalsoced.org.uk

Finlaggan, Scotland: Excavation Reports

Finlaggan on the island of Islay in Scotland was the centre of the Lordship of the Isles where inaugurations and administrative councils were held during the 13th and 15th centuries.

The following links provide .pdf reports on excavations at Finlaggan. We were very pleased to welcome the excavator of the site and former Keeper of the National Museum of Scotland, David Caldwell at our recent network meeting.

David kindly advised that the reports may be of wider interest to the network:

Caldwell, David H (2010) Finlaggan report 1: introduction and background. Project Report. National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh. (Unpublished)

Caldwell, David H (2010) Finlaggan report 2: archaeological survey of area around Loch Finlaggan. Project Report. National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh. (Unpublished)

Caldwell, David H (2010) Finlaggan report 3: eilean mor excavations 1. Project Report. National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh. (Unpublished)

Caldwell, David H (2010) Finlaggan report 4: chapel excavations. Project Report. National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh. (Unpublished)

Caldwell, David H (2010) Finlaggan report 5: houses and halls. Project Report. National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh. (Unpublished)

Caldwell, David H (2010) Finlaggan report 6: kitchens and houses by jetty. Project Report. National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh. (Unpublished)

Caldwell, David H (2010) Finlaggan report 7: eilean na comhairle. Project Report. National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh. (Unpublished)

Link to site location on National Monuments Record of Scotland website.




Welcome to the Royal Scone RSE Network project blog.

This resource provides a professional forum for knowledge exchange and debate for invited researchers and heritage professionals  working on medieval royal centres throughout Europe. Details about the project’s background and aims can be found on the About page of this blog. For shared reports, site information, project conference documents and more please connect to the project Dropbox folder. Simply request a link to the folder if you have not already received one.

Subsequent posts will update our collaborators about the project activities already undertaken so far this year, including details of our first Research Development Panel meeting that was hosted by the University of Stirling and feedback from our first Public Interpretation Event held earlier this Spring at Perth, Scotland.

News will also be forthcoming soon on developments with our up-coming conference scheduled for December of this year and the next Research Development Panel taking place on 11th July 2014.

We welcome and encourage your participation in this blog with your own posts and comments.

Please return regularly for updates.



Dr Oliver J T O’Grady

Scone RSE Network Project


RSE Logo

Stirling logo OJT Heritage Logo St Andrews logo