Archaeology Short Guides

Scotland’s Archaeology Strategy and Historic Environment Scotland’s Archaeology Short Guides are a series of guidance issued by HES on a range of subjects, aimed at a range of people investigating and recording Scotland’s archaeology.

The delivery plan for Scotland’s Archaeology Strategy commits that HES will lead on creating standards and guidance and fill recognised gaps in advice. The Short Guides are intended to be brief but informative, around 30 pages in length, well-illustrated and, as much as possible, written in accessible language. Each will be peer-reviewed, with feedback being sought internally and externally. Expert authors will be sought from within HES and across the wider sectors. They will cover a range of subjects including sharing information about cutting-edge scientific techniques and looking forward to considering possible future developments.

Two guides are available now: The Recognition and Investigation of Lithic Scatters and Identifying and Recording Scotland’s Prehistoric Rock Art – both can be downloaded below. All guides are issued under and Open Government License so we encourage people to download, share and host as they wish.

If you are aware of areas in Scottish Archaeology where technical advice is lacking, where we have expertise we can share, or where you think there is a demand from community groups, or if you are looking for a long-term output for a project you are working on, please get in touch with us at

Be sure to also check out HES’s Managing Change in the Historic Environment Guidance – a series of guidance to help guide changes to the historic environment in line with HEPS and SPP.

Download the guides here: