Dr Sally Foster

History D27 University of Stirling Stirling FK9 4LA United Kingdom

About me

I am an archaeologist who spent over 20 years working in cultural heritage - mainly for Historic Scotland - before returning to academia. Graduating from University College London with a degree in Medieval Archaeology, I completed my PhD at the University of Glasgow. Before joining Stirling in 2014, I was an archaeology lecturer at Glasgow and Aberdeen universities.

My external duties include Chairing the National Committee on Carved Stones in Scotland. In the recent past I have been Secretary of the Medieval Europe Research Community and Hon. Editor of the international journal Medieval Archaeology. I am a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and the Society of Antiquaries of London, and a Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists.


  • Grant of £770 from Strathmartine Trust
    DescriptionGrant for illustrations to accompany publications
  • £1179 as part of £26621 AHRC Network Grant
    DescriptionECCLES: Early Christian Churches and Landscapes, an international network. CI, working with PI Dr Tom Pickles of University of Chester.
  • £6072 Royal Society of Edinburgh Small Grant
    DescriptionConcrete and non-concrete: an ethnographic study of the contemporary value and authenitcity of historic replicas. PI, working with Professor Sian Jones.
  • £19,550 from Scottish Universities Insight Institute for Programmes of Knowledge Exchange
    DescriptionIn January 2018, Scottish Universities Insight Institute has awarded £19,550 awarded to Dr Tom Dawson, University of St Andrews and Dr Sally Foster, University of Stirling for Learning from Loss: how will Scotland respond to transformation in the historic environment in the face of accelerating impacts of climate change by 2030?
  • £2294 from Historic Environment Scotland Properties in Care Archaeology Programme
    DescriptionTranscriptions and outreach associated with Concrete and non-concrete project, with Professor Sian Jones, supplementing grant from Royal Society of Edinburgh.
  • £6250 grant from Henry Moore Foundation
    DescriptionThe Biography of a National Collection project. Three grants: 2013-14, 2015-16 and 2016-17
  • £12494 (Royal Society of Edinburgh Workshop Grant £10k; remainder from Historic Environment Scotland per National Committee on Carved Stones in Scotland)
    DescriptionFuture Thinking on Carved Stones in Scotland: A Research Framework, with CI Dr Katherine Forsyth of Glasgow University, and the collaboration of Dr Susan Buckham (University of Stirling) and Dr Stuart Jeffrey (Glasgow School of Art).
  • St Andrews Preservation Trust Murray Prize for History 2015
    DescriptionPrize for Foster et al 2014


  • Rock-art, public engagement and the future of the Cochno Stone workshop
    Department of Archaeology
    DescriptionShort introduction to Listen to the Stones, and the Future Thinking on Carved Stones in Scotland project
    Type of eventWorkshop
    LocationSkypoint Centre, Faifley, Clydebank
    Keywordscarved stones, prehistoric rock art
  • Scotland's Community Heritage Conference
    DescriptionLaunch of 'Listen to the Stones', an initiative to promote wider audience engagement with Future Thinking on Carved Stones in Scotland: A Research Framework. Workshop to explore community interests in working with carved stones in the context of the Framework.
    Type of eventConference
    LocationGlasgow, University of Strathclyde
    KeywordsCarved stones
  • Pictish Arts Society Annual Conference
    Type of eventConference
    KeywordsReplication, St Andrews Sarcophagus, Norrie's Law Hoard, George Buist, Cupar
  • Our Islands, Our Past
    Orkney College
    DescriptionThe paper, presently jointly with Professor Sian Jones, presented preliminary findings of the Concrete and non-concrete: an ethnographic study of the contemporary value and authenticity of historic replicas. It was accompanied by a poster.
    Type of eventConference
    KeywordsValue, significance, authenticity, replicas, St John's Cross, Iona
  • 8th International Insular Art Conference
    DescriptionPoster introducing ongoing research project with Professor Sian Jones, funded by Royal Society of Edinburgh, supported by Historic Environment Scotland
    Type of eventConference
    LocationUniversity of Glasgow
    KeywordsValue, significance, authenticity, replicas, St John's Cross, Iona
  • Global Challenges in Cultural Heritage
    Faculty of Arts and Humanities
    DescriptionThis paper offered an introduction to the Future Thinking on Carved Stones in Scotland project, in which understanding value has been central. It promoted the wider significance of this project, inviting wider critical review by heritage professionals and other users of this new model for a research framework, which is structured around the heritage cycle /  a government strategy for the historic environment. See Framework at http://www.scottishheritagehub.com/content/future-thinking-carved-stones-scotland, Section 1.4 for the approach taken. The paper was presented on behalf of the Framework's co-authors, Dr Katherine Forsyth (University of Glasgow), Dr Susan buckham (University of Stirling) and Dr Stuart Jeffrey (Glasgow School of Art). The paper was supported by a poster.
    Type of eventConference
    KeywordsValue-based approaches, significance, heritage cycle, research frameworks, carved stones
  • Early Christian Churches and Landscapes: Academic Conference 1
    DescriptionFirst event as part of ECCLES AHRC Network.
    Type of eventConference
    KeywordsEarly church; landscapes, Scotland, Corpus Architecturae Religiosae Europeae
  • Launch of project '597 St Conval to All Hallows 1420 years and counting'
    DescriptionShort presentation on the significance of Inchinnan in the early medieval period and the potential of its surviving archaeology to answer important questions. Reference was made to the Future Thinking on Carved Stones in Scotland: A Research Framework, the objectives of which the All Hallows Project will contribute towards.
    Type of eventCultural
    LocationInchinnan Parish Church
    KeywordsInchinnan; carved stones; early church
  • Public lecture
    DescriptionPublic lecture to Tullibody History Society
    Type of eventOther
    LocationTullibody Heritage Centre
  • Victorians Institute Conference 2016, Raleigh, North Carolina
    DescriptionFrom the late 1830s until the end of the long nineteenth-century, museums in Scotland acquired collections of plaster casts of local early medieval sculpture, sometimes referred to as ‘Celtic crosses'. A similar trend is seen in Ireland, Wales and the Isle of Man, with only a few native examples being manufactured for the South Kensington / Victoria and Albert Museum. The production of these replicas embodied considerable energy and embeds many stories because the motivations for the production, and their subsequent trajectories, vary immensely. The phenomenon also contrasts with the more familiar production of replicas of classical, later medieval and Renaissance sculpture. A case study will introduce the evolving motivations behind the creation of the collections in what was the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland and the Edinburgh Museum of Science and Art (now the National Museums of Scotland), contrasting this to what was happening in the provincial museums.
    Type of eventConference
    LocationRaleigh, North Carolina
    KeywordsReplication; 19th-century; plaster casts; composite cultural biography
  • The art and science of replication. Copies and copying in the interdisciplinary museum, National Museums Scotland
    Department of Science and Technology
    DescriptionNMS Collections Research Seminar. An informal discussion of the role of models across disciplinary boundaries. Organised by Dr Sam Alberti.
    Type of eventSeminar
    LocationNational Museums Scotland, Edinburgh
  • Museums - Places of Authenticity
    DescriptionAn international conference of the Leibniz Research Alliance "Historical Authenticity" Together with:  Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum - Archaeological Research Institute, Mainz, Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum , Deutsches Museum, München,  National Maritime Museum - Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum, Bremerhaven, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nürnberg, Museum für Naturkunde - Leibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Science, Berlin, Senckenberg Nature Research Society - World of Biodiversity, Frankfurt am Main, Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig - Leibniz Institute for Animal Biodiversity, Bonn, Knowledge Media Research Center - Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien, Tübingen
    Type of eventConference
    LocationMainz, Erbacher Hof and Museum für Antike Schiffahrt
  • Celtic Revival: Authenticity and Identity conference
    DescriptionThe conference examined the Celtic Revival as a rewriting, recreation and re-imagining of the past, from the medieval period to the twentieth century. Leading art and design historians, archaeologists and curators discussed the themes of authenticity and innovation, the role of the copy, cultural heritage and reimagined identities. It was linked to the Celts: Art and Identity exhibition at the British Museum / National Museums Scotland.
    Type of eventConference
    LocationBritish Museum
    KeywordsCeltic Revival; replicas; early medieval sculpture
  • Landscape Encounters II: Exploring Environmental and Heritage Histories of Scotland
    DescriptionLecture as part of Landscape Encounters II , the second in a series of free public lectures designed to showcase some of the past and current research projects undertaken by the staff at the Centre for Environment, Heritage and Policy at the University of Stirling to a wider audience.
    Type of eventSeminar
    LocationSmith Museum and Art Gallery
  • Unfolding Argyll's Archaeological Story: Research Framework Symposium
    DescriptionTwo-day symposium porviding unique and important opportunity to bring together all those researching the archaeology and history of Argyll. The event is primarily for research specialists, representatives from local history societies and heritage groups who are interested in defining a research strategy for Argyll.
    Type of eventSeminar
    KeywordsArgyll; archaeology; history; research framework
  • Future Thinking on Carved Stones in Scotland: Workshop 4. ScARF for carved stones in Scotland, University of Stirling
    Centre for Environment, Heritage and Policy, University of Stirling
    Type of eventWorkshop
    LocationUniversity of Stirling
    Keywordscarved stones; research framework
  • Destroy the Copy! II, Berlin
    DescriptionDestroy the Copy II Sponsored by Free University Berlin, Cornell University Thursday, October 8, 2015 - 8:00am to Saturday, October 10, 2015 - 5:00pm Location:Freie Universität Berlin Berlin Germany In the last decades research on plaster cast collections of ancient sculpture has developed into a sub-discipline of classical archaeology and reception studies. A few exceptions aside the topic is usually approached from an archival point of view. It remains centered on thehistory of the collections,their formation and development and how they served as a medium for circulating and establishing the canon of antique sculpture and European art. Two larger fields of inquiry, however, have so far been neglected:first, the specific process and reasons for the systematic destruction or neglect of cast collections; second, the use, display and reception of plaster casts outside of Europe, most notably in areas which were not familiar with Western (replicated) antiquity. These are the topics our conference wants to concentrate on. At first sight seemingly unrelated, they combine a view from the so-called margins or periphery, prompting questions of how casts and the values they reified have been challenged, de-contextualized and transformed. In addition, we hope to get a better understanding of which aspects in the reception of cast collections including their rise and decline were a global or a local phenomenon.
    Type of eventConference
    KeywordsPlaster casts; replicas; value; authenticity
  • European Association of Archaeologists Annual Conference 2015, Glasgow
    MERC (Medieval Europe Research Committee)
    DescriptionMedieval Europe Research Committee Forum: one of three speakers.
    Type of eventConference
    KeywordsMedieval Scotland; replicas; museums
  • European Association of Archaeologists Conference 2015, Glasgow
    Deaprtment of Archaeology
    DescriptionLV30 ARTISTIC LEGACIES SESSION Poster entitled FUTURE THINKING ON CARVED STONES IN SCOTLAND Sally Foster UNIVERSITY OF STIRLING This poster summarises the progress of an ongoing strategic effort to link, inspire, mobilise and help direct diffuse communities with an interest in and responsibility for carved stones by creating a Scottish Archaeology Research Framework for carved stones. The project is supported by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Historic Scotland, the National Committee on Carved Stones in Scotland (NCCSS) and others, led by Dr Sally Foster (PI: University of Stirling) and Dr Katherine Forsyth (CI: University of Glasgow). Carved stones - prehistoric rock art, Roman, early medieval, later medieval and post-Reformation sculpture, architectural sculpture, architectural fragments and gravestones and memorials - include some of Scotland's most characteristic monuments and some of its most significant contributions to European art and culture. There is a general under-appreciation of the significance of these carved stones and the threats to them. Analysis by the NCCSS in 2013 suggests addressing the underlying causes of this requires targeted research into what carved stones can tell us about both the past (their historical context) and the present (social value, national and community identity, etc.). Research is needed also into curatorial issues including the identification of best practice. As both ‘monument' and ‘artefact', carved stones often transgress traditional curatorial and disciplinary lines - they are prone to ‘fall through the gaps' and thereby suffer intellectual and curatorial neglect. Understanding this rich resource is an interdisciplinary undertaking drawing on both humanities and sciences, and involving not only the academic community per se but also the fragmented heritage and stewardship sectors.
    Type of eventConference
    KeywordsCarved stones; Scotland
  • European Association of Archaeologists Conference 2015, Glasgow
    DescriptionLV30 ARTISTIC LEGACIES JOSEPH BLACK - ROOM 407 Chair: Dr. Sally Foster / Organiser: Dr. Sally Foster 1330 - 1340 Introduction 1340 - 1400 Art and Archaeology: a happy marriage?, Valdez-Tullett, J (University of Southampton) 1400 - 1420 Archaeology and History of Art: Different Methodologies for the Common Purpose: study of Russian arms and armor, Zhilin, A (State Historical Museum) 1420 - 1440 The stylistic unity between ornamentation of adornments from hoards and architectural white stone carving of Old Rus, Zhilina, N (Institute of Archаeology RAS) 1440 - 1500 Science dedicated to the study of archaeological textiles : the example of a workshop in Brandes-en-Oisans (12th-14th c, France) and Yakuts graves (18th-19th c, Siberia), Retournard, E (Université de Bourgogne, UMR 6298 ARTeHIS); Saunier, I 1500 - 1520 Cultural Heritage in an interactive landscape, Angeletaki, A (Norwegian University of Science and Technology); Benardou, A; Papaki, E 1520 - 1530 Discussion Poster Future Thinking on Carved Stones in Scotland, Foster, S (University of Stirling)
    Type of eventConference
    Keywordsartistic legacies; art; archaeology
  • Future Thinking on Carved Stones in Scotland: Workshop 3. New thinking on carved stones in Scotland.
    Centre for Environment, Heritage and Policy, University of Stirling
    Type of eventWorkshop
    LocationRoyal Society of Edinburgh, Edinburgh
    Keywordscarved stones; research framework
  • Future Thinking on Carved Stones in Scotland: Workshop 2. At the door of the church? Research and carved stones at ecclesiastical sites, Govan Old Church
    Centre for Environment, Heritage and Policy, University of Stirling
    Type of eventWorkshop
    LocationGovan Old Church, Glasgow
    KeywordsCarved stones; churches
  • The St Donnan's Seminar, Eigg
    DescriptionCommunity-organised event, with HLF funding
    Type of eventSeminar
    KeywordsEarly medieval church; St Donnan
  • Future Thinking on Carved Stones in Scotland: Workshop 1. Digital recording of carved stones for research. Where are we and where can we go? Glasgow School of Art
    Type of eventWorkshop
    LocationGlasgow School of Art Digital Design Studio
    KeywordsDigital recording; carved stones
  • Glasgow Archaeology Seminars Autumn 2014
    Type of eventSeminar
    LocationUniversity of Glasgow
  • Centre for Environment, History and Policy Seminars
    Type of eventSeminar
    LocationUniversity of Stirling
  • Appin Historical Society lecture programme 2014-15
    DescriptionLecture on new developments in understanding the Picts, Gaels and Scots, following publication of 3rd editon of 'Picts, Gaels and Scots. Early Historic Scotland'.
    Type of eventOther
    LocationPort Appin
    KeywordsPicts Gaels Scots
  • Mini-symposium on 19th-Century Replication and the Prehistory of Virtual Reality, Fort Worth, Texas
    Description"19th Century Replication and the Prehistory of Virtual Reality," a mini-symposium, will take place 2:30-4:30 p.m., Nov. 7, 2014 (Debate Chamber, Scharbauer Hall). Funded by TCU's Research and Creative Activity Fund, it brings together an archaeologist, art historian, cognitive psychologist, and literary scholar to engage in interdisciplinary exploration of 19-century forms of replication that look ahead to our era of digitization, holograms, simulacra, genetic engineering, and more. See further details below and in the attached abstracts. Sally Foster, The Thing about Replicas: Why Historic Replicas of Archaeological Material Matter A medieval archaeologist by training, Dr. Sally Foster worked in cultural heritage management for around 20 years. Returning to academia in 2010, she joined the University of Stirling as Lecturer in Heritage and Conservation in 2014. Her research is interdisciplinary in nature, cutting across cultural heritage management, archaeology, history, art history and museology, with a particular interest in nineteenth-century replication of early medieval material culture. In addition to recent articles in Journal of the History of Collections and Journal of Victorian Culture, the third edition of her book Picts, Gaels and Scots has just appeared. Julie Codell, 19th-Century Replicas in Art: Auras, Aesthetics and Economics Julie Codell is Professor of Art History at Arizona State University and affiliate faculty in English, Gender Studies, Film and Media Studies and Asian Studies. She wrote The Victorian Artist: Artists' Life Writings in Britain, ca. 1870-1910 (Cambridge 2003; paperback rev. ed. 2012) and edited Transculturation in British Art, 1770-1930 (2012), Power and Resistance: The Delhi Coronation Durbars (2012), The Political Economy of Art (2008), Genre, Gender, Race, and World Cinema (2007), Imperial Co-Histories (2003), and co-edited with L. Brake, Encounters in the Victorian Press (2004), and with D. S. Macleod, Orientalism Transposed: The Impact of the Colonies on British Culture (1998), now being translated into Japanese (2015). Ryan D. Tweney, The Origins of Replication in Science Ryan D. Tweney received his BA from the University of Chicago and his MA and Ph.D. from Wayne State University in Cognitive Psychology and Psycholinguistics. In 1970, he joined the faculty of Bowling Green State University, and has been Emeritus Professor of Psychology since 2005. His research interests have centered on understanding and explaining the nature of scientific thinking and has included laboratory work, cognitive-historical analyses (especially of Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell), and the replication of historically important scientific experiments. His publications include 6 books (5 edited or co-edited), 122 articles and book chapters, and numerous reviews, conference presentations, and lectures. Linda K. Hughes, Tennyson's The Princess (1847-1853) and Literary Replicas Linda K. Hughes, Addie Levy Professor of Literature at TCU in Fort Worth, Texas, specializes in Victorian literature and culture with special interests in historical media studies (illustrated poetry, periodicals, serial fiction); gender and women's studies; and transnationality. She is the author of The Cambridge Introduction to Victorian Poetry (2010), Graham R.: Rosamund Marriott Watson, Woman of Letters (2005, winner of the Colby Prize), The Manyfacèd Glass: Tennyson's Dramatic Monologues (1987); co-author of Victorian Publishing and Mrs. Gaskell's Work (1999) and The Victorian Serial (1991); and editor or co-editor of several volumes including A Feminist Reader: Feminist Thought from Sappho to Satrapi (4 vol., 2013).
    Type of eventSeminar
    LocationDebate Chamber, Scharbauer Hall, Texas Christian University
  • European Association of Archaeologists Annual Conference 2014, Istanbul
    Type of eventConference
    KeywordsEarly Christian Church and Landscape, early medieval church, Scotland
  • Making Histories: The Sixth International Insular Art Conference 2011
    Type of eventConference
  • Buildings for Worship in Britain: Celtic and Anglo-Saxon
    Type of eventSeminar
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