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FISH Vocabularies page

We are sorry to report that this page has recently developed a glitch regarding the download links to the csv thesauri files which we are currently looking into.  If you wish to download either the thesauri .csv files and/or the recently added terms list please click here. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

FISH Thesauri Version 26 Released

Candidate terms (terminology suggestions) are submitted to FISH all year round. Terms are processed and usually added to the FISH thesauri and authority files as and when they come in. Every year the thesauri are updated and uploaded to this website, here you can download the thesauri in CSV and PDF formats and at Heritage Data, a related website, you can access the terminologies in LOD format.

Due to ongoing technical issues we have been unable to produce updated .pdf versions of the thesauri for this release but they all remain current except for those that have been updated since February 2021; the seven affected thesauri are:

Archaeological Objects, Components, Event Type, Historic Aircraft, Monument Type, Object Materials and Resource Description (Thred).

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience that this may cause; Click here to view a list of terms added and changes made to version 26 of the aforementioned thesauri.

Click here to view all the FISH thesauri.

If you have any questions regarding the FISH thesauri or have candidate terms to submit please contact us at or via our on-line form here.

Digital Past 2020 – New technologies in heritage, interpretation and outreach 12th & 13th February 2020, Aberystwyth

Digital Past is an annual two day conference organised by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. It showcases innovative digital technologies and techniques for data capture, interpretation and dissemination of the heritage of Wales, the UK and beyond.

For more information on the event, speakers and registration visit:

New Consultation on Lithic Artefact Terminologies

The need to review the terminologies used for the recording and indexing of lithic artefacts has been highlighted in the recent HER enhancement projects for early prehistory. These found that ‘the current thesauri terms are not fit for purpose’ and have recommended that ‘a new list of lithic terminology should be developed and agreed by a panel of specialists and deployed ahead of further early prehistoric HER enhancement work’ (Catermole, A. 2018. A Review of Historic Environment Records Enhancement Projects for the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic). Lithic terminologies were also one of the areas that were discussed in the FISH E-Conference a few years ago.

This consultation is being conducted through the lithic and prehistory specialist societies and is aimed at lithic specialists across the sector – freelance, in house unit, academic, museum etc.

The consultation is due to end on November 30th.

Lithic artefact terminology consultation Oct_Nov 2019

FISH Session at 2018 CAA-UK conference videos now online

At last year’s Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology UK (CAAUK) conference held in Edinburgh we held a special FISH session highlighting some of the recent applied work based on or associated with information standards.

The session outline is below and the videos are available online (along with a number of other excellent presentations covering a whole range of topics)….. enjoy…..

Click HERE

FISH session – Making the Links: Practical Applications of Data Standards

The outcomes of data standards work provide the basis for a variety of applications used by archaeologists and information managers grappling with complex data sets. They allow information to be shared and accessed in increasingly innovative and flexible ways, by professional and public users alike, and the aim of this session is to look at current initiatives that demonstrate the way standards are being developed and used to share, link, and engage users.


The contribution of data standards to the ARIADNE project – Julian Richards

Spatial data standards matter too – Peter McKeague

Building a digital platform for research frameworks – Dan Miles and Doug Rocks-Macqueen

Changing the game – managing data with the Arches platform – Phil Carlisle

EAA Conference: Call for papers – Session 144 (closes 14 February 2019)

European Archaeological Association annual conference, Bern 4-7 September 2019.

Session 144 Towards a Spatial Data Infrastructure for Archaeology

Are we getting best value out of the spatial data we create? Help deliver value from the data you create at Session 144.

Through the INSPIRE Directive (2007) public organisations across Europe are required to share environmentally-related spatial datasets to support decision making and management of the environment. As a result heritage agencies responsible for the designation and management of Protected Sites across Europe have released Web Map and Web Feature Services through the INSPIRE Geoportal.

In contrast to datasets mandated by INSPIRE, which are underpinned by consistent data standards, little consideration has been given to the wealth of spatial data created through archaeological fieldwork and research. Digital technologies now enable the high-precision recording of archaeological excavations and surveys, placing these activities in their wider landscape, whilst advances in remote sensing techniques combined with processing power allow recording to be undertaken over many hectares compared to the targeted, site-specific surveys of the early 21st century. Ground and Airborne Laser Scanning offer new opportunities for the recording and analysis of our past. This is data that ultimately informs our understanding and management of sites and archaeological landscapes, from informing the planning process to measuring the long-term impact of climate change. Despite its potential, the data is largely inaccessible beyond illustrations fossilised and siloed within individual final published reports. The underlying primary data is difficult to find, access and reuse. The data structure not only differs across but also within organisations, hindering efficient reuse. Then there are questions of who should collate, manage and publish spatial datasets, as well as access rights.

The Amersfoort Agenda recognises the need to share, connect and provide access to archaeological information through digital technologies, with the aspiration to improve collaboration, yet examples of a collaborative approach to managing and publishing spatial data pooled from archaeological projects are rare. We welcome papers that discuss the challenges and solutions to finding, compiling and accessing spatial data across multiple projects.

Call for papers closes Thursday 14  February 2019

Conference: The 25th Annual Meeting of the EAA (Bern, 4-7 September 2019)

The 25th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) will take place from 4-7 September 2019 in Bern, Switzerland.

The event will be organised by the Institute of Archaeological Sciences at the University of Bern.


The Annual Meeting themes, as defined by the Scientific Committee, incorporate the diversity of EAA and the multidimensionality of archaeological practice, including archaeological interpretation, heritage management and politics of the past and present.

1. Archaeological theory and methods beyond paradigms
2. Interpreting the archaeological record: artefacts, humans, and landscapes
3. Archaeology of mountainous landscapes
4. Digital archaeology, science and multidisciplinarity: new methods, new challenges
5. Archaeological heritage and museum management: future chances, future risks
6. Global change and archaeology

Registration for the 25th EAA Annual Meeting is now open. Please note that eventually all participants of the Annual Meeting have to be current (2019) EAA members and pay conference registration fee. Check registration policy for more details.

For more information go to:


Conference: EAC symposium 2019 (Dublin, 28 Feb – 2 Mar 2019)

The mission of the Europae Archaeologiae Consilium (EAC) is to support the management of the archaeological heritage in Europe.

The topic of the 20th Heritage Management Symposium will be ‘Archaeological sites and monuments in the care of the state – sharing our experiences’.

The 20th Annual Meeting of the EAC will be held in Dublin Castle on 28 February – 2 March 2019. The event will be hosted and organised by the National Monuments Service (Ireland).

Online registration is open until 6 January 2019.

To register click here:

Historic England: New advice and guidance documents issued (Dec 2018)

Historic England have issued a whole raft of new and updated advice and guidance documents on their website. Click here to go to the Latest Advice and Guidance page which now also includes an A to Z list of advice pdfs and a list of recently archived advice.

Examples of guidance documents include five reissued archaeological science guidance documents and some short instructional video clips.