Dr Sally Foster

Senior Lecturer in Heritage and Conservation


I am an archaeologist who spent over 20 years working in cultural heritage — mainly for Historic Scotland — before returning to academia. Graduating from University College London with a degree in Medieval Archaeology, I completed my PhD at the University of Glasgow. Before joining Stirling in 2014, I was an archaeology lecturer at Glasgow and Aberdeen universities.

My research is interdisciplinary in nature, cutting across cultural heritage management, archaeology, history, art history and museology. Reflecting my background, I aim to make a difference on the ground and to curatorial practices. Particular interests include:

  • understanding value, significance and authenticity
  • historiography of cultural heritage
  • biographical approaches to material culture
  • Picts and their northern European early medieval neighbours
  • understanding, protection, conservation, display and interpretation of carved stones (notably prehistoric rock art, early medieval sculpture, graveyards and gravestones).

My current research focuses on:

My publications range from academic articles and edited volumes to semi-popular books — the bestseller Picts, Gaels and Scots is now in its third edition (2014) — and guidebooks, such as Maes Howe and the Heart of Neolithic Orkney (an updated edition, co-authored with Rachel Pickering, published in 2017).

My external duties include Chairing the National Committee on Carved Stones in Scotland. For three years until 2016 I was Secretary of the Medieval Europe Research Committee. For six years until 2012, I was the Hon. Editor of the international journal Medieval ArchaeologyI am a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and the Society of Antiquaries of London, and a Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists.

See my publications here.

My projects: Multiplying Lives, , ECCLES and Future Thinking on Carved Stones in Scotland

E-mail: s.m.foster@stir.ac.uk 

Telephone +44(0)1786 467571