All posts by Mark Barratt

Jigsaw Days on OASIS

On the 6th May 2015 and again on 7th March 2016 group training days in OASIS were provided for archaeological societies working within Cambridgeshire as part of the HLF funded Jigsaw initiative.

Attending the 2015 session were representatives from

  • the Covington History Group
  • the Cambridge Archaeology Field Group
  • the Warboys Archaeology Project
  • the Fen Edge Archaeology Group

Together they disproved the belief that local societies are not up to date with the online side of archaeology as they had with them the software tools needed to overcome problems with the training room passwords at Shire Hall!

In 2016 the attendees were from:

  • Access Cambridge Archaeology
  • the Cambridge Archaeology Field Group
  • the Fen Edge Archaeology Group
  • the Sawtry Society


Both sessions were really enjoyable thanks largely to the fact that several diverse groups all got on together & shared questions and solutions springing from their first Oasis Forms. Recently the FEAG form for the Twenty Pence Project Excavations 2011–2015 in Cottenham was signed off & completed and is a fine reminder of the value of the two Jigsaw Days.

The report from Fen Edge Archaeology Group

It is still hoped that the Cambridgeshire Jigsaw experience can be spread to other counties.

Although not part of the Jigsaw initiative, the Community Archaeology reports produced by Access Cambridge Archaeology have started to appear in the ADS Library and demonstrate the growing number of Community projects being entered onto Oasis.


A Day in the Life: Historic England and OASIS

Since April 2004 when the latest incarnation of the OASIS Form went live I’ve had three main responsibilities as the main OASIS partner at Historic England:

1) Validation & Sign-off of Forms already completed by HERs

2) Training across England for contractors and curators

3) Inputting of the results of HE research

Ten years in and there have been few changes to these three strands; the most notable being the ‘proxy-validation’ of Forms with PDFs attached on behalf of a range of HERs. Figures of completed Forms from last November show that the vast majority of those signed-off by HE came via HER validation, with a handful of proxy Forms.

In April 2014 the total of completed Forms reached 20,000; at the end of 2014 it stood at 22,621 with almost 29,000 reports in the Grey Literature Library. In terms of HE research, OASIS has allowed the first county-wide systematic supply of HE work to HERs, perhaps the most satisfying personal achievement from the first ten years of the project. May I take this opportunity to thanks all my OASIS contacts for their input into the success of the system.

Mark Barratt