Part of Historic Environment Scotland
Two people standing together smiling inside the Engine Shed lab, in front of microscope equipment

Heritage Science

About the team

Scientific analysis of materials is vital to help conserve Scotland's historic environment. This includes more than 300 properties in the care of Historic Environment Scotland, with the team focusing on the analysis of building materials, archaeological remains, and collections objects and archives. On-site analysis using non-destructive testing methods is the preferred approach wherever possible, as this minimises the impact on historic fabric.

Members of the team have specialisms in building pathology (thermal efficiency, moisture ingress and general assessment of decay), material analysis including provenancing and dating, archaeological science, as well as impact of climate change on materials.

The Heritage Science team works closely with industry and with other conservation bodies to deliver analysis of diverse objects. We use this to inform conservation approaches as well as decisions around curation. We also focus on new research into Scottish building materials, and support original scientific research with a range of partners, including PhD supervision.

A heritage scientist in a white coat in a lab, scanning a piece of stone in front of a laptop