Normally post-excavation analyses of artefacts recovered from excavations only begins once the entire excavation has been completed. But in the case of the Carnoustie hoard, specialist analyses was required as soon as possible. This was because the organic remains within the hoard were so delicate and fragile that there was a danger that they would degrade within a very short time. They urgently needed conservation but before this could take place, specialists required to examine the remains and take appropriate samples for scientific testing (such as radiocarbon dating, isotope analyses, X-ray Fluorescence analyses) to extract crucial information about the artefacts.
So post-excavation analyses of the hoard begins in January 2017 with a Post-Excavation Research Design that lays out the key questions we want answers to and which identifies the various types of specialist analysis appropriate to each type of archaeological material that might answer these questions.