National Museums Scotland is establishing an international network of scholars to explore the role of silver in the emergence of the early medieval kingdoms of Europe. This network has been made possible thanks to an award from the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council.

The Department of Scottish History and Archaeology at National Museums Scotland is currently home to two major programmes of research on Scottish silver in the first millennium AD: the Glenmorangie Research Project, and the Traprain Law Project. Thanks to the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) award, and in collaboration with our co-investigator Dr Andreas Rau (Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology, Stiftung Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesmuseen, Germany), National Museums Scotland will be able situate this research in its European context, making new connections with colleagues and new comparisons with collections beyond Scotland.

AHRC support is enabling National Museums Scotland to spearhead development of an international network to bring together academics, museum professionals, early career researchers and post-graduate students. Our aim is to create lasting cross-disciplinary connections between those involved in the discovery, curation, research and public presentation of early medieval silver from across northern Europe. Together, the network will compare and contrast different strategies towards the supply, circulation and use of silver following the collapse of the Roman Empire and to explore the role of this precious metal in the emergence of the early medieval kingdoms of Europe.

There will be two specialist meetings of the network in 2017 and the fruits of these will be published in a volume of academic papers. There will be an opportunity to come to a public day conference at the National Museum of Scotland in 2017 to hear about the network’s findings, but in the meantime you can keep up to date with archaeological research through our blog.

  • Spirals in the Norrie’s Law hoard, Fife (AD 450–600).

    Spirals in the Norrie’s Law hoard, Fife (AD 450–600).
  • Surviving silver from the Norrie’s Law hoard, Fife.

    Surviving silver from the Norrie’s Law hoard, Fife.
  • Gaulcross hoard: the silver handpin, bangle and chain found during the 19th century at Gaulcross, Aberdeenshire

    Gaulcross hoard: the silver handpin, bangle and chain found during the 19th century at Gaulcross, Aberdeenshire
  • Traprain Law Treasure: bowl of a silver spoon engraved with a fish, a Christian symbol.

    Traprain Law Treasure: bowl of a silver spoon engraved with a fish, a Christian symbol.
  • Traprain Law Treasure: Panther or leopard-shaped handle, probably from a large wine flagon.

    Traprain Law Treasure: Panther or leopard-shaped handle, probably from a large wine flagon.

The AHRC funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: ancient history, modern dance, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, English literature, design, the creative and performing arts, and much more.  This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98m to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. For further information on the AHRC, please go to: www.ahrc.ac.uk

 

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