New Toolkit - recording archaeological materials

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new Toolkit for recording archaeological materials, developed as part of a project funded by the CIfA Finds Group and delivered in partnership with Historic England. The Toolkit can be found here. The primary target audience includes all personnel undertaking or managing the recording of finds assemblages prior to appraisal; finds specialists; those managing finds specialists; project managers; post-excavation managers; those monitoring project outputs and those managing and curating project archives. 

Project background
This new Toolkit supports and complements the Toolkit for specialist reporting, providing guidance for collecting data that are essential for successful reporting. The report entitled Review of the Standard of Reporting on Archaeological Artefacts in England identified unwelcome levels of variation in the data collected from finds assemblages and this new Toolkit promotes a consistent approach that will benefit project management as well as analysis, reporting and archive compilation. The Toolkit provides information and resources for the initial finds recording process, which aims to provide general data on the character and size of assemblages. That information will then inform and enable specialist expertise in the subsequent stages of appraisal and analysis. A key component of the Toolkit is a recommended Materials Word List, which is intended to promote consistency in recording, thus addressing another issue identified in the above review of artefact reporting standards and resolving issues of conflicting or poorly constructed terminologies. Additional resources include downloadable recording sheets, and examples of recorded data.

We hope this resource will be useful for organisations and individuals alike.