Throughout history some areas have been less attractive for living and farming than others. These areas are identified as marginal because of environmental, economic or socio-political factors. How can we recognise marginality in the archaeological record? How particularly can environmental remains be interpreted? And how can we interpret human strategies when faced with a marginal environment? Most of the papers in this volume focus on Scottish contexts, reflecting their origins at the 1992 meeting of the Association for Environmental Archaeology in Edinburgh. However Greek pastoralism and the problems of food supply in the Egyptian and Syrian deserts are also examined.