Scotland’s Coastal Heritage at Risk

A talk by Tom Dawson, University of St Andrews

Part of the 2021 Archaeology Roadshow


For the last 20 years, SCAPE has been researching the archaeological and historical heritage of the Scottish coast, especially sites threatened by natural processes and climate change. SCAPE works closely with community groups around the country and in 2012, started the Scotland’s Coastal Heritage at Risk Project. The project’s citizen scientist app asked the public to update information on known coastal sites. A second project strand asked community groups to nominate sites with local value, resulting in a number of practical projects. Rather than solely focus on excavation, projects included digital 3D recording, surveys, making films and relocating structures to a local heritage centre. This talk will discuss lessons learned and will highlight future ways forward.

Biographical Information
Tom Dawson is an archaeologist and Principal Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. Tom has worked on excavations around the world, and for the last twenty years, has been the Director of SCAPE (Scottish Coastal Archaeology and the Problem of Erosion), working with communities to record the eroding heritage of the coast. SCAPE also works in partnership with other organizations and Tom was formerly a Commissioner with the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland and Vice President of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.