In 2018, we organised the first ever Scottish Student Archaeology Society Conference at the University of Glasgow.

Bringing Archaeologists Together

We got the idea for a conference of research after going to the ‘Building History’ event run by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland last year. That weekend, students from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and St Andrews met in Stirling for two days of classes and fieldwork. Among them were members of the committees of each of the student archaeology societies.

circular logo with outline of standing stones, castle and broch in the middle

From that weekend we had the idea to create a Society of Scottish Student Archaeologists. The aim was to promote the study of archaeology, and to create a more collaborative and connected discipline by bringing students from across Scotland together at events.

A Conference For Everyone

The first of these was our flagship SSASC 2018 conference. Held this year in Glasgow, the event brought together students from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Stirling, Inverness, Kirkwall, Dublin and Southampton. It was a celebration of the research done by students and early career researchers into Scotland’s past.

nine people stand in a row smiling for the camera

Some of the student team behind the conference, who met at the ‘Building History’ event

Here are three of the lessons we learned that made our conference a success.

1. Have A Varied Programme

We had a great turn out, with over 120 attendees over the two days. Students and invited speakers gave talks on a range of subjects from across Scottish Prehistory, Roman to Early Medieval and Modern Archaeology. There really was something to suit everyone’s interest.

2. Highlight – or Create – Opportunities

We asked many of our partner organisations and supporters, such as Archaeology Scotland, to set up stalls in the venue. This gave attendees an opportunity to see the exciting field schools, training programmes and memberships available to students.

close up of a stand with some leaflets and a tub of pencils

Scotland’s Archaeology Strategy featured at one of the stalls

This conference gave students the chance to do some informal networking, something we don’t often get the chance to do. It also introduced us to the world of presentations and poster-sessions – very important for anyone considering an academic life – in a friendly learning environment.

We also held a competition to find the ‘Best Student Speaker’ in each seminar block. Congratulations once again to winners Claire Christie, Jordyn Marlyn and Eliot Grater!

3. Listen to Feedback

From the feedback we’ve had, the conference seems to have been a great success, so much so that we’ll be setting up an online magazine and fieldwork opportunities hub to build upon this success.

Keep an eye on our website in the next few months to catch those, or follow us on Twitter @ScotStudentArch for updates.

Re-live the Magic

All the Seminar sessions were digitally recorded and are available from the Society Website or on You Tube. If you want to catch up on the action, you can also have a look back at our twitter hashtag for the event, #SSASC2018.


About Author


Guest Blog

From time to time we have guest posts from partners, visitors and friends of Historic Environment Scotland.