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GLOSSARY#

Archaeological archive: see definitions here and here. In many European countries where the Guide has not been adopted, this term is used only to mean the records created during a project and excludes the material objects (finds.

Archaeological project: see definition here and here.

Archive component: a specific part of the array of items that make up an archaeological archive, usually distinguished by their concomitant archive storage requirements; examples include the finds, written records, graphic images and digital data.

Analogue: for the purposes of the Guide the term analogue is used to describe data or documents created in non digital formats such as on paper or drafting film or as a photographic print, negative or transparency.

Artefact: something manufactured or given shape by a human being, such as a tool or a work of art; archaeological examples include pottery, stone tools, objects made of metal or worked bone, brick and tile. In some countries an artefact is any object whose formal properties and/or position have been intentionally created to support a specific purpose (practical function, social meaning, symbolic significance; cf. NeustupnĂ˝ 1998, 134). Artefacts can be moveable (like pottery, stone tools, etc.) or immoveable (like a house, burial mound, etc.).

Assemblage: for the purposes of the Guide, a group of finds found during the course of an archaeological project and thus associated with a specific context or site of human activity.

Back up: to duplicate digital data files as a reserve resource should the originals become unusable.

Born Digital: data or files originally created in digital form, such as a photograph taken with a digital camera, CAD files and GIS data.

Collection: a group of records and/or material objects owned, stored and curated by a single institution for the purposes of future study and enjoyment. Archaeological project archives are understood to be individual components of a collection, which represents a greater, unified resource.

Compile / compilation: used here to mean the activity of finally gathering together all archive materials and organizing them in readiness for transfer to a repository.

Conservation: used here to mean the procedures of cleaning, stabilising and examining sensitive objects in controlled conditions.

Context: a single stratigraphic unit recorded separately in the field; usually the extant structures, cut features and deposits that represent and contain archaeological evidence and finds.

Context record: the record of the details (such as location, dimensions, character and stratigraphic relationships) of a context identified during archaeological investigation.

Curation: the work of a curator.

Curator: the person who cares for and manages access to a collection.

Digital Data: files or records comprised of code that is read by a computer; digital data can be born digital or digitised.

Digital data migration: preservation of digital data through the method of transferring it into current software formats and hardware configurations in order to prevent it from becoming obsolete and unreadable.

Digital transfer media: portable digital data carriers, such as external hard drives, data sticks or CD rom.

Digitised: data that has been entered or scanned into a computer from an analogue original, such as a hand-written context record or drawing.

Ecofact: an object or find of natural material that represents evidence for human activity; examples include animal bones, seeds, charcoal. Some countries understand an ecofact also to be a natural object or an artefact possessing ecofactual properties that originate through unintentional human action, quite often without human awareness (NeustupnĂ˝ 1998, 136).

Environmental remains: used here to mean materials collected as evidence for the state of the natural environment at any given period, such as pollen and molluscs, also some ecofacts.

Finds: artefacts, ecofacts, environmental remains and waste products recovered archaeologically.

Long term storage: the principle of curating collections in repositories for as long as possible.

Material: meaning here substance and materiality, as applied to material objects and some records.

Material (finds) archive: the material objects collected during an archaeological project and selected for long term storage.

Material object: an artefact, ecofact, environmental remain, waste product or sample that could be preserved in the archaeological archive.

Metadata: data about data; mainly used to summarise the content and character of digital files and datasets, with the aim of informing potential users.

Microfilm: see Microform.

Microform: film, paper or other medium containing micro-reproductions; microfiche or microfilm are the common forms used for the long-term preservation of written records.

Project design: a document that describes the plan for undertaking a project; usually including the research aims, methodology, specific tasks and stages, the timetable for undertaking each task and the resources required, such as staff and finances.

Recognised repository: a repository that meets the standards required by national, regional or local schemes for maintaining required levels of curation, care and access.

Recording systems: a systematic method for creating records; examples include the use of different pro-forma for describing contexts or finds.

Records: used here to denote the written, digital and graphic documentation created during the description, analysis, ordering and reporting of archaeological sites, contexts, assemblages, finds or samples.

Repository: the store and point of access for a collection.

Sample: a fragment or part of a larger whole (usually a context or a find) collected for more detailed analysis. Some samples do not survive analysis, such as soil collected for sieving or flotation, or organic material retained for C-14 dating; others, such as pieces of ceramic made into petrographic microscope slides are objects that can be included in the archaeological project archive.

Security copy: a duplicate version of any element of the documentary archive retained to preserve the information it contains should the original become lost, destroyed or unusable.

Selection: the procedure for selecting archive components for inclusion in an archaeological archive intended for long term storage.

Sensitive objects / finds: material objects that require specific treatment, packing and storage conditions; examples include iron objects, which should be stored in a dry environment, or textile, which requires a higher humidity.

Transfer of title: the procedure by which ownership of the archaeological archive is transferred from one owner to the other; here meaning to transfer ownership to the repository.

Trusted digital repository: a repository that is certified as meeting international standards of digital preservation and access; one whose mission is to provide reliable, long-term access to managed digital resources to its designated community, now and in the future.

Version control: the method of identifying successive versions of a document or digital file to show which one pre-dates another.

Waste products: material objects or finds created as by-products of human activity, usually in the manufacture of artefacts; examples include debitage, metal slag, hammerscale and bone or leather off-cuts.

X-Radiography: the production of an image as a result of x-rays being passed through an object; commonly used in archaeology to identify, characterise, record and assess corroded metal objects. Similar methods include computer tomography (CT scanning).