SWAP is an independent research collaboration which aims to promote the study and protection of Scotland’s wetland archaeology.

Comprising partners from various organisations, the SWAP programme has been active since 1998, following the Dublin meeting of the international Wetland Archaeology Research Programme (WARP). In 2005, SWAP hosted the WARP conference in Edinburgh, prompting Historic Environment Scotland (then Historic Scotland) to task SWAP members with the formulation of a research agenda for wetland studies in Scotland. The resulting  document identified a series of research themes to be pursued as a means of approaching the most pressing questions in Scottish wetland research. These focus on the investigation of chronological patterns, the relationship of dating samples to phases of construction and occupation and the investigation of a range of Iron Age crannogs and analysis of their form, function and meaning.

Since 2006, SWAP members have undertaken a series of research initiatives aimed at approaching the themes identified in the research agenda. These have included surveys and excavations in peatlands in Argyll and Caithness, investigations of crannogs in Loch Awe and Whitefield Loch, and a major programme of excavation of the prehistoric settlements on and around Cults Loch, Wigtownshire.

Most recently, SWAP has focussed on the investigation of a wetland settlement in the partially drained Black Loch of Myrton. Excavations at this site are ongoing.


SWAP is supported by Historic Environment Scotland.