Archaeological Standards and Guidance – What are they for and who sets them?
The Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) held an online discussion on this topic on 10-11 May 2017. Key questions covered:
- A new vision for 2017 and beyond? Is the Southport vision is still relevant? Can we construct a new vision for 2017 and beyond? What outcomes do we want to achieve and what should standards therefore contain?
- Roles and responsibilities – who sets standards? Many organisations are involved in producing standards and guidance; do we yet have a common understanding about roles and responsibilities or are we all competing with each other? Who should lead on what?
- New thinking on methodology and standards – how do we capitalise on the lessons of synthesis projects, and translate them into professional practice?
- How much should we be prescribing methods as opposed to seeking outcomes?
- Should improving standards make our work more cost-effective or will they add cost?
For more information about this discussion and links to current initiatives within data standards compilation, see: http://www.archaeologists.net/archaeological-standards-and-guidance-what-are-they-and-who-sets-them-online-discussion-10%E2%80%9311-may
Published in June 2016, this guidance document was compiled by the three period-specific pottery study groups (PCRG, SGRP, MPRG) with the aim of creating the first, comprehensive, inclusive standard for working with pottery. The Standard is intended for use in all types of archaeological project, including those run by community groups, professional contractors and research institutions.
This standard has been published by the Medieval Pottery Research Group on behalf of the Prehistoric Ceramics Research Group, the Study Group for Roman Pottery and the Medieval Pottery Research Group.
The text was written by Alistair Barclay and David Knight (PCRG); Paul Booth and Jane Evans (SGRP); Duncan H. Brown and Imogen Wood (MPRG).
Development and production of this standard was funded by grant-aid from Historic England.
The National Standard and Guidance to Best Practice for Collecting and Depositing Archaeological Archives in Wales comprises a suite of documents which aim to make archaeological data, information and knowledge available, stable, consistent and accessible for present and future generations. The Standard for Archaeological Archiving in Wales consists of a set of high-level principles. It represents the standard for archaeological archiving that must be met by an archaeologist or organisation undertaking any form of archaeological work that results in an archive.
Guidance documents are available as a ‘zip’ file here.
This document has been prepared by the National Panel for Archaeological Archives in Wales and is drawn from A Standard and Guide to Best Practice for Archaeological Archiving in Europe.
The National Panel has tailored this document to meet the specific needs of Wales and to offer guidance that supports the Historic Environment (Wales) Act 2016. The National Panel for Archaeological Archives in Wales is an advisory body established by the Historic Environment Group with a remit to promote the care of and encourage access to the archaeological archives of Wales.