Materials word list

The table below presents a categorised list of material types. The list can also be downloaded as a PDF file:

 


 

ID

Class

Category

Type
(sub-class)

Type
(sub-class) Common usage

Type description
(scope note)

Detail (narrow term) examples

1

Mineral

Stone

Natural stone

Stone

All unmodified stone, including building rubble; excluding gemstone

Chalk; chert; coal; flint; granite; limestone; sandstone; slate

2

Mineral

Stone

Modified stone

Worked stone

All worked stone objects such as building stone, grave markers, querns, spindle whorls, tesserae; excluding objects made of chert, gemstone or slate

Chalk; coal; granite; limestone; sandstone

2.1

Mineral

Stone

Modified lithic

Worked flint; lithics

All lithic material worked into (prehistoric) tools such as handaxes, scrapers, blades and points

Chert; flint

2.2

Mineral

Stone

Gemstone

 

All precious and semi-precious stones

Amethyst; carnelian; diamond; emerald; ruby; sapphire

2.3

Mineral

Stone

Modified slate

Slate

All worked slate objects, including roof tiles

Slate

2.4

Mineral

Stone

Stone aggregate

 

All stone composites

Asphalt; concrete

3

Mineral

Earth mix

Earth mix

 

Unmodified clays or soil material

 

3.1

Mineral

Earth mix

Burnt clay

 

All fragments of accidentally or incidentally burnt clay or other earth mix. Can be used as a general term from which Clay Lining and Daub can be extracted following further study.

 

3.2

Mineral

Earth mix

Clay lining

 

All fragments of preserved clay lining from structural features such as hearths, ovens, kilns etc

 

3.3

Mineral

Earth mix

Daub

 

All fragments of clay used in wattle and daub construction, often with characteristic wattle impressions

 

3.4

Mineral

Earth mix

Mortar

Mortar/plaster

All fragments of mortar; used as a binding material in construction

 

3.5

Mineral

Earth mix

Plaster

Mortar/plaster

All fragments of plaster; used to cover wall and ceiling surfaces

 

4

Mineral

Ceramic

Ceramic

 

All ceramic products; ceramic substances that do not fit the Material Types specified here should be identified as Ceramic

 

4.1

Mineral

Ceramic

Ceramic building material

 

All ceramic objects used structurally, including brick, drainpipes, roof furniture, tesserae, tile

Brick, chimney pot, tile

4.2

Mineral

Ceramic

Fired clay

 

All fired clay objects, including casting moulds, figurines, loomweights, kiln furniture; excluding building material, pipe-clay and building material

 

4.3

Mineral

Ceramic

Pipe clay

 

All objects made of pipe-clay, including figurines, tobacco-pipes

 

4.4

Mineral

Ceramic

Pottery

Pot

All fired clay vessels

Earthenware; porcelain; refined earthenware; stoneware; terracotta

4.5

Mineral

Ceramic

Sanitary ware

Sanitary ware

Ceramic objects associated with ablutions and waste disposal

 

5

Mineral

Glass

Glass

 

All glass substances that do not fit the Material Types specified here should be identified as Glass

 

5.1

Mineral

Glass

Finished glass

Glass

All finished objects made of glass, including beads, vessels, window panes

 

5.2

Mineral

Glass

Waste glass

Glass waste

All glass waste created during glass making

 

6

Mineral

Metal

Metal

 

All objects made of metal; metals that do not fit the Material Types specified here should be identified as Metal

 

6.1

Mineral

Metal

Copper

 

All objects made of pure copper

 

6.2

Mineral

Metal

Copper-alloy

 

All objects made of any copper-alloy

 

6.3

Mineral

Metal

Gold

 

All objects made of gold

 

6.4

Mineral

Metal

Iron

 

All objects made of iron or steel

 

6.5

Mineral

Metal

Lead

 

All finished objects made of pure lead, such as cloth seals, weights; all lead fitments or ancillary components such as flashing or window cames

 

6.6

Mineral

Metal

Lead-alloy

 

All lead-alloys

Pewter

6.7

Mineral

Metal

Silver

 

All objects made of silver or silver-alloy

 

6.8

Mineral

Metal

White metal

 

All objects made of white metals, such as aluminium; can be used for silver or silver-alloys when the metal type has not been ascertained

Aluminium

7

Mineral

Metal by-product

Metal by-product

 

All by-products from the production or working of metal; metal by-product substances that do not fit, or cannot be identified as the Material Types specified here should be identified as Metal by-product

 

7.1

Mineral

Metal by-product

Metal production waste

 

All waste from metal production, also furnace lining

Furnace lining; slag

7.2

Mineral

Metal by-product

Waste metal

 

Waste products from metal-working

Clinker; hammerscale

8

Mineral

Artificial materials

Composites

 

Artificial composite materials, including compounds, polymers, synthetic materials

Plastic; nylon

9

Organic

Human

Human remains

 

All human remains

Human bone; human hair

9.1

Organic

Human

Human waste

 

All human waste

Cess; Coprolite; Faecal matter (unspecified)

10

Organic

Faunal

Faunal remains

 

All animal products unmodified for later use; animal products such as eggshell or fat that do not fit the Material Types specified here should be identified as Animal Remains

Eggshell; fat; fish-scales; fur; gut; hair; skin

10.1

Organic

Faunal

Animal bone

 

All unmodified bone or similar substances related to vertebrate animals; including bone that is accidentally modified, eg with butchery or chopping marks. Can be used for e.g. antler and horn until more detailed identification has been carried out.

Bone; claws; otoliths; teeth

10.2

Organic

Faunal

Antler

 

All unmodified antler

Red deer antler

10.3

Organic

Faunal

Horn

 

All unmodified horn

Cow horn

10.4

Organic

Faunal

Ivory

 

All unmodified ivory

Walrus ivory

10.5

Organic

Faunal

Shell (vertebrate)

 

All unmodified vertebrate shell

Turtle shell

11

Organic

Faunal

Arthropod remains

 

All unmodified parts of creatures of the class Arthropoda excluding mollusc shell; mainly crustacea and insects

Beetle; crab; flea; fly; lobster

11.1

Organic

Faunal

Shell

 

All unmodified mollusc shell

Mussel; oyster; snail

12

Organic

Faunal

Animal product

 

All modified animal products; modified materials such as fur or eggshell that do not fit the Material Types specified here should be identified as Animal Product

Eggshell; fur; horn

12.1

Organic

Faunal

Leather

 

Animal skin that has been treated by a tanning process

 

12.2

Organic

Faunal

Textile

 

All woven animal products, including cloth, rope and string

Silk; wool

12.3

Organic

Faunal

Modified bone

Worked bone

All finished objects and their waste products made from animal bone or related substances

Worked antler; worked bone; worked ivory

12.4

Organic

Faunal

Modified antler

Worked antler

All finished objects of antler

 

12.5

Organic

Faunal

Modified horn

Worked horn

All finished objects made of horn

 

12.6

Organic

Faunal

Modified ivory

Worked ivory

All finished objects made of ivory

 

12.7

Organic

Faunal

Modified shell (vertebrate)

Worked shell

All finished objects made of vertefbrate shell

 

12.8

Organic

Faunal

Animal waste product

 

All animal waste

Cess; coprolite; faecal matter (unspecified)

13

Organic

Plant

Plant remains

 

All unmodified plant remains including chaff, seeds and wood

Chaff; flower; leaf; phytolith; seed; wood; burnt wood

13.1

Organic

Plant

Plant product

 

All modified plant products; modified materials such as nutshell that do not fit the Material Types specified here should be identified as Plant Product

 

13.2

Organic

Plant

Charcoal

 

Deliberately carbonised wood, mainly used as a fuel

 

13.3

Organic

Plant

Textile

 

All natural plant fibre products, including basketry, cloth, knitted material, rope and string

Cotton; hemp (rope); jute; linen; rattan

13.4

Organic

Plant

Modified wood

 

All finished objects made of tree wood and bark; all waste material from wood-working

 

14

Organic

Textile

Textile

 

All woven materials for which a more detailed material type (eg silk or linen) cannot be identified. Records should be updated following specialised identification.

To be established through analysis

15

Organic

Organic gemstone

Gemstone

 

All organic materials utlised as gemstones, including amber, jet and pearl

Amber; jet; pearl