The Scottish Medieval Castles and Chapels C-14 Project (SMCCCP) is funded by Historic Environment Scotland and the University of Stirling to further investigate the palaeoenvironmental potential of Scottish medieval masonry building materials, with particular concern for the archaeological dating of constructional events. The project is directed by Dr Mark Thacker (Buildings Archaeologist and Research Fellow in History, University of Stirling), and is scheduled for completion in 2019.
Medieval castles and chapels are often the most visible monuments within Scottish landscapes, and these buildings contribute enormously to the economy and identity of surrounding communities. These sites are also frequently associated with high status historic figures who are reported to have influenced events of national and international importance during the medieval and later periods. Our limited understanding of exactly when these surviving medieval buildings were first constructed, however, makes it difficult to accurately situate these structures within that wider historical narrative. Contemporary documentation relating directly to the construction of these buildings is very rare, architectural styles are generally chronologically unrefined, and excavated archaeological evidence often relates only to later occupation. As a result, ascribed constructional dates are often speculative, and interdisciplinary dialogue is stymied.
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