Guidelines for the recording of archaeological materials

2020 - ongoing

The aim of this project is to develop a Toolkit that provides information and resources for recording finds that will support and enhance the recently developed Toolkit for Specialist Reporting (which is due for launch soon). The newly developed Toolkit will provide guidance for collecting the data that is essential for successful reporting. The review of finds reports in 2017 (Review of the Standard of Reporting on Archaeological Artefacts in England) highlighted substantial variation in the data collected from finds assemblages and this new Toolkit will promote a consistent method that will benefit project management as well as analysis and reporting. The Toolkit is not intended to form a detailed guide to the recording of categories of finds at analysis stage but rather a Toolkit that provides information and resources for recording finds prior to that, to enable communication with specialists and to provide general data on the character and size of assemblages.

One element of the Toolkit will be a recommended material type word list, the need for which became apparent during development of the new OASIS system. This has been developed in association with the FISH project (Forum on Information Standards in Heritage) and will hopefully help to address and resolve issues of conflicting or poorly constructed terminologies and methodologies.


There is one document that outlines the information that is proposed for inclusion in the Toolkit - linked below:

The aim is to present the finalised Toolkit  information as outlined above as a web resource similar to the Toolkit for Selecting Archaeological Archives.

Consultation questions

Please review the document and consider the following:

  1. Do you think this Toolkit will be easy to use?
  2. Is the information presented clearly and logically?
  3. Do you think the list of recommended terms for materials is useful and/or practicable? Would you use it?
  4. Is anything missing from the content?
  5. Is there anything you think is not required?
  6. As an online resource, would you refer to the Toolkit as part of your current and future practice?
  7. If you work outside England, are there elements of the Toolkit that would need to change in order to ensure it was relevant and applicable to practice?

If you wish to answer the questions above as part of a document and attach this to an email please see the template provided below. Otherwise an email with general feedback is also very welcome.


Please email your feedback to Jen Parker Wooding by Friday 5 March 2021