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Documenting the Cultural Heritage
  Standards in Practice: Greenwich
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Core Data Standard
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International Core Data Standard for Archaeological Sites and Monuments

1.0 Using the Core Data Standard
The various sections into which the data standard is divided represent the minimum categories of information required to make a reasonable assessment of a monument or site, whether for planning, management, academic, or other purposes. In addition, reference can be provided to further information held in databases, document centres, and elsewhere which may be necessary for the detailed understanding and care of individual monuments or sites or categories of monument or site.

The mandatory sections within the data standard provide for a minimum amount of information required for indexing in structured fields and describing in free-text fields an archaeological monument or site. The optional sections, sub-sections, and fields allow for the recording of a monument or site in greater detail. For example, a site may be cross referenced to a larger complex of which it forms a part, or to records of excavations undertaken on the site. Cross referencing can also be made to more detailed documentary information either held by or known to the organisation responsible for the particular monument or site record. Clearly the level of recording undertaken by individual organisations will vary according to its own requirements and resources.

Not all the sections are mandatory. Each section contains a varying number of sub-sections, some of which are mandatory (i.e., the information must be recorded), while others are optional (i.e., recording of information depends upon the priorities of the recording organisation). Alternatively, of course, the information may not exist. For example, there may never have been an excavation undertaken at a particular site, in which case sub-section 2.1.8 cannot be completed.

While many of the sub-sections are optional, once it has been decided to record the type of information they refer to, then some or all of the fields within the sub-sections become mandatory. For example, if it is decided to make cross reference to records of archaeological excavations/events (sub- section 2.1.8), then the reference number of that excavation record and the name of the organisation responsible for curating that record must be entered.

The individual sections are as follows:
  • Section 2.1 identifies the monument or site, and allows cross referencing to records of events, e.g., excavation and/or survey undertaken at that site, and to records of artefactual and archival material associated with the site.

  • Section 2.2 locates the monument or site in terms of address, political, cartographic, and other spatial criteria.

  • Section 2.3 describes the type of monument or site being recorded.

  • Section 2.4 allows for a date to be assigned to a monument or site, or for dates to be assigned to particular phases of use.

  • Section 2.5 records the physical condition of the monument or site.

  • Section 2.6 permits a note to be made of any form of protection, legislative or otherwise, which applies to the monument or site.

  • Section 2.7 provides for a brief summary of what is known, archaeologically, about the monument or site.
Although many of the entry fields within the sections and sub-sections require only a single piece of information (designated "unique" within the data standard), it is recognised that in certain instances two or more terms may be relevant to a particular monument or site within a single field, sub-section, or section. For example, an archaeological site may straddle the border of two adjacent administrative areas, or more than one excavation may have taken place at a particular site. In such instances, the data standard recommends the repetition of the whole sub-section or section rather than multiple entry, within one field. Thus in the example of more than one excavation at a particular site, each would be treated as a separate event, and the whole of the cross references in 2.1.8 would be repeated for each excavation record.

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