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A Research Framework for the Archaeology of Wales

From April 2008, the Research Framework for the Archaeology of Wales has found a new home. A revised and updated website can now be found at http://www.archaeoleg.org.uk

Photo: CPAT CS03-17-08

Background

The development of a Research Framework for Welsh Archaeology followed a conference organised by IFA Wales/Cymru and held at the University College, Aberystwyth in August 2001. The proceedings of this conference have now been published by the IFA as a British Archaeological Report British Series 343 (2003) edited by Stephen Briggs. Immediately following the conference a Steering Group was established to promote the development of the research framework. The membership of the Group aims to be as representative as possible of the various different sectors of Welsh archaeology.

Photo: CPAT CS82-04-10

The Steering Group recognised that the structure of the research framework for Welsh Archaeology needed to draw heavily on the structure envisaged by English Heritage and published in 1996 by Adrian Olivier as Frameworks for our Past. This saw a research framework as comprising:

  • A Resource Assessment: an overview of the current state of knowledge and understanding.
  • A Research Agenda: recognition of the potential of the resource, gaps in our knowledge and an unprioritised list of research topics.
  • A Research Strategy: a prioritised list of research objectives (seen as flexible over time), furthered by implementing specific Research Projects.

Photo: CPAT CS86-19-14

Photo: CPAT 84-C-179

Within Wales the first stage of this process involved the production of four regional resource audits that aimed to identify the nature and extent of the known archaeological database by a compilation of published or accessible data. These audits were funded by Cadw:Welsh Historic Monuments and they were undertaken by the four Welsh Archaeological Trusts during the summer of 2002. The second stage involved the production of a research assessment that was based on an examination of the archaeological resource in order to evaluate strengths, weaknesses and biases in the record.

In order to assist this process of assessment a series of regional working parties were established tasked with examining chronological and thematic issues. The work of these working parties was presented at a series of regional seminars held during the autumn of 2002 at Carmarthen, Welshpool, Bangor and Cardiff. The intention was that the papers presented at each of the seminars would then form the basis for a series of discussions on the development of research agenda and a research strategy.

Photo: CPAT CS00-19-15

Photo: CPAT 85-C-293

All four of the seminars were well attended with between 50 and 70 people present at each one. Interestingly, the nature of the audience varied slightly between each of the seminars. The amateur sector and local societies were well represented at the northwest seminar at the University of Bangor and at the southeast seminar at the National Museum and Art Gallery in Cardiff whereas the contract archaeology sector was well represented at the east and northeast seminar at the County Offices in Welshpool. Professional archaeologists and the university sector were particularly well represented at the southwest seminar at Trinity College, Carmarthen. The overall diversity of the audiences was very encouraging and suggested that all sectors involved in Welsh archaeology were keen to become involved with the establishment of the agenda and strategy.

Photo: CPAT 87-C-48a

The final stage of the process the development of a research agenda and a research strategy is now under way. This is taking the form of a series of follow-up meetings based on the outcomes of the research assessment and most recently a national seminar held in Aberystwyth on 4th September 2004. The aim of this, well attended, seminar was to establish a national agenda for each of the major chronological periods and themes already outlined at a regional level. The papers prepared for each of these talks can be seen below under each of their approrpaite national themes, and comments are now invited on these and any other aspects of the process.

A number of other Research Frameworks exist across the UK. Web sites associated with these can be reached from our links section.

The Regional Research Assessment

Photo: CPAT CS96-16-12

Photo: CPAT CS92-48-03

The following regional research assessment papers are based on a combination of the initial resource audit undertaken by the Welsh Archaeological Trusts and the papers presented at the regional research assessment seminars. Numerous different organisations have contributed either in cash or in kind to the preparation of this website. Some of these organisations are represented by the logos in the left hand margin. Naturally, the Steering Group would like to extend its thanks to all the organisations and individuals involved.


The Progress on the Research Framework for the Archaeology of Wales can be a be accessed in the following ways

To access the papers from the National Seminar (September 2004),
and the regional research assessment papers (2002), arranged by topic select a heading from the list below


  • Palaeolithic and Mesolithic papers

  • Earlier Prehistory papers

  • Later Prehistory papers

  • Roman papers

  • Early Medieval papers

  • Medieval papers

  • Post Medieval papers

  • Environmental archaeology papers

  • Maritime archaeology papers

  • Scientific Data

  • Current Research
  • To access the regional research assessment papers arranged by geographical area click on one of the four regions on the map below


    These web pages have been prepared by Chris Martin and Rich Phipps of the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust on behalf the Research Framework for the Archaeology of Wales Steering Group.



    Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Archaeology

    National Seminar Paper, 4th September 2004 - Elizabeth Walker

    Regional Seminar Papers

    NMGW copyright

    All Wales

  • Seminar paper - convenor Elizabeth Walker
  • Bibliography

    List of key sites by region

  • Southwest
  • Northwest
  • East and Northeast
  • East and Northeast SMR Resource Audit
  • Southeast

    Select bibliography by region

  • Southwest
  • Northwest
  • East and Northeast
  • Southeast
  • Comments on the Research Framework

    Back to index

    Earlier Prehistoric Archaeology

    National Seminar Paper, 4th September 2004 - Gwilym Hughes

    Regional Seminar Papers

    ACA copyright

    South West Wales

  • Seminar paper - convenor Gwilym Hughes
  • List of key sites
  • Select bibliography
  • CPAT copyright

    North West Wales

  • Seminar paper - convenor Frances Lynch
  • List of key sites
  • Select bibliography
  • CPAT copyright

    East & North East Wales

  • Seminar paper - convenor Alex Gibson
  • List of key sites
  • Select bibliography
  • CPAT SMR Resource Audit
  • CPAT copyright

    South East Wales

  • Seminar paper - convenor Martin Locock
  • List of key sites
  • Select bibliography
  • Comments on the Research Framework

    Back to index

    Later Prehistoric Archaeology

    National Seminar Paper, 4th September 2004 - Fiona Gale

    Regional Seminar Papers

    ACA copyright

    South West Wales

  • Seminar paper - convenor Ken Murphy
  • List of key sites
  • Select bibliography
  • CPAT copyright

    North West Wales

  • Seminar paper - convenor David Longley
  • List of key sites
  • Select bibliography
  • CPAT copyright

    East & North East Wales

  • Seminar paper - convenor Fiona Gale
  • List of key sites
  • Select bibliography
  • CPAT SMR Resource Audit
  • Crown copyright (RCAHMW)

    South East Wales

  • Seminar paper - convenor Adam Gwilt
  • List of key sites
  • Select bibliography
  • Comments on the Research Framework

    Back to index

    Roman Archaeology

    National Seminar Paper, 4th September 2004 - Emma Plunkett Dillon

    Regional Seminar Papers

    CPAT copyright

    South West Wales

  • Seminar paper - convenor Emma Plunkett Dillon
  • List of key sites
  • Select bibliography
  • Crown copyright (RCAHMW)

    North West Wales

  • Seminar paper - convenor Jeffrey Davies
  • List of key sites
  • Select bibliography
  • CPAT copyright

    East & North East Wales

  • Seminar paper - convenor Jeffrey Davies
  • List of key sites
  • Select bibliography
  • CPAT SMR Resource Audit
  • CPAT copyright

    South East Wales

  • Seminar paper - convenor Andrew Marvell
  • List of key sites
  • Select bibliography
  • Comments on the Research Framework

    Back to index

    Early Medieval Archaeology

    National Seminar Paper, 4th September 2004 - Ian Bapty

    Regional Seminar Papers

    Crown copyright (RCAHMW)

    South West Wales

  • Seminar paper - convenor Alan Lane
  • List of key sites
  • Select bibliography
  • Crown copyright (RCAHMW)

    North West Wales

  • Seminar paper - convenor Nancy Edwards
  • List of key sites
  • Select bibliography
  • CPAT copyright

    East & North East Wales

  • Seminar paper - convenor Ian Bapty
  • List of key sites
  • Select bibliography
  • CPAT SMR Resource Audit
  • CPAT copyright

    South East Wales

  • Seminar paper - convenor Mark Redknap
  • List of key sites
  • Select bibliography
  • Comments on the Research Framework

    Back to index

    Medieval Archaeology

    National Seminar Paper, 4th September 2004

    Regional Seminar Papers

    ACA copyright

    South West Wales

  • Seminar paper - convenor David Austin
  • List of key sites
  • Select bibliography
  • Crown copyright (RCAHMW)

    North West Wales

  • Seminar paper - convenor Andrew Davidson
  • List of key sites
  • Select bibliography
  • CPAT copyright

    East & North East Wales

  • Seminar paper - convenor Bob Silvester
  • List of key sites
  • Select bibliography
  • CPAT SMR Resource Audit
  • CPAT copyright

    South East Wales

  • Seminar paper - convenor Jonathan Kissock
  • List of key sites
  • Select bibliography
  • Comments on the Research Framework

    Back to index

    Post Medieval Archaeology

    National Seminar Paper, 4th September 2004 - C Stephen Briggs

    Regional Seminar Papers

    Crown copyright (RCAHMW)

    South West Wales

  • Seminar paper - convenor C Stephen Briggs
  • List of key sites
  • Select bibliography
  • Crown copyright (RCAHMW)

    North West Wales

  • Seminar paper - convenor David Gwyn
  • List of key sites
  • Select bibliography
  • CPAT copyright

    East & North East Wales

  • Seminar paper - convenor Brian Malaws
  • List of key sites
  • Select bibliography
  • CPAT SMR Resource Audit
  • Crown copyright (RCAHMW)

    South East Wales

  • Seminar paper - convenor Stephen Hughes
  • List of key sites
  • Select bibliography
  • Comments on the Research Framework

    Back to index

    Environmental Archaeology

    National Seminar Paper, 4th September 2004 - Astrid Caseldine

    Regional Seminar Papers

    CPAT copyright

    All Wales

  • Seminar paper - convenor Astrid Caseldine
  • Select bibliography
  • Comments on the Research Framework

    Back to index

    Maritime Archaeology

    National Seminar Paper, 4th September 2004 - Sian Rees

    Regional Seminar Papers

    CPAT copyright

    All Wales

  • Background paper

    List of key sites by region

  • Southwest
  • Northwest
  • East and Northeast
  • Southeast
  • Comments on the Research Framework

    Back to index

    Scientific Data

    CPAT copyright

    South West Wales

  • Key pollen sites
  • Key mollusc sites
  • Dendrochronology
  • Radiocarbon Dates
  • Radiocarbon dates - archaeological sites
  • Radiocarbon dates - palaeoenvrionmental sites
  • CPAT copyright

    North West Wales

  • Key pollen sites
  • Key mollusc sites
  • Dendrochronolgy
  • Radiocarbon dates
  • CPAT copyright

    East & North East Wales

  • Key environmental sites
  • Key pollen sites
  • Key mollusc sites
  • Dendrochronology
  • Radiocarbon dates
  • Radiocarbon dates-palaeoenvironmental sites
  • CPAT SMR Resource Audit
  • CPAT copyright

    South East Wales

  • Key pollen sites
  • Key mollusc sites
  • Dendrochronology
  • Palaeoenvironmental Evidence
  • Radiocarbon dates
  • Comments on the Research Framework

    Back to index

    Current Archaeological Research

    If you think you can identify the subjects of all of the photos used in this web site then let me know. The first correct answer to be drawn out of the hat will win free CPAT SMR enquiries for one year.

    By Region

  • Southwest
  • Northwest
  • East and Northeast
  • Southeast
  • Comments on the Research Framework

    Back to index


    South West Wales

    Comments on the Research Framework

    Back to index



    North West Wales

    Comments on the Research Framework

    Back to index



    East and North East Wales

    A version of the CPAT SMR Resource Audit is available on the CPAT web site

    Comments on the Research Framework

    Back to index



    South East Wales

    Comments on the Research Framework

    Back to index



    Links to regional Research Frameworks

    If you would like us to provide a link from this site to your Research Framework website, please email me at chrismartin@cpat.org.uk

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    These web pages have been prepared by Chris Martin and Rich Phipps of the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust on behalf the Research Framework for the Archaeology of Wales Steering Group.

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