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Subject:

Re: [MASSMAIL] Re: [FISH] Labels, Lithics and Landforms e-conference -Session 2: Landforms and sediments

From:

Andy Howard <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

The Forum for Information Standards in Heritage (FISH)

Date:

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 10:26:40 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (294 lines)

I would agree with Francis's point that all find spots are useful and yes 
they are a starting point.  Isolated finds may indeed point to the potential 
of a unit and the condition may well say something about the degree of 
recycling (see the new Trent monograph).  The point I guess I am trying to 
make it that the starting point should be the sediment body since a map of 
dots of find spots is simply that, a map of dots.  Context of the sediment 
body is critical to understanding the find (something that until relatively 
recently has been long neglected outside of Quaternary circles).

BW

A

Dr Andy Howard MIfA
Landscape Research & Management
Tel. +44 (0)1746 769739
Mob. 07791 840205
Skype: andy.howard14
http://landscape-research-management.co.uk/

Co-editor, Journal of Archaeological Science Reports
http://ees.elsevier.com/jasrep/

Honorary Research Fellow, Dept. of Archaeology,
University of Durham
-----Original Message----- 
From: Wenban-Smith F.F.
Sent: Friday, October 24, 2014 10:11 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [FISH] [MASSMAIL] Re: [FISH] Labels, Lithics and Landforms 
e-conference -Session 2: Landforms and sediments

While I totally agree that we need to think about the landscape as 
"lithostratigraphic units" - a point to be addressed in greater detail later 
in the morning session as the "deposit-led" approach, it is wrong to make a 
dichotomy between "intact landsurfaces" [Good] and "disturbed finds" [Bad]. 
This widely-practised convention really fails to address the great potential 
of the Palaeolithic archive which includes remains from deposits formed in a 
wide variety of ways, with evidence disturbed in varying degrees from very 
much to hardly. all these types of remains can contribute to different 
aspects of understanding the Palaeolithic better and addressing current 
research priorities. And there is a very useful distinction for HER purposes 
between a find from a known context, and a truly stray find. Often, very 
important Palaeolithic sites, will have their first evidence be a lone 
find - for instance Harnham, in Wiltshire - and it is very useful HER 
information to know that a find is linked with a specific deposit. This 
highlights the deposit at that location as worthy of more detailed 
consideration/investigation to establish the nature/potential of any 
Palaeolithic remains.

Homepage: www.soton.ac.uk/~ffws/New_ffws/index.html
Francis Wenban-Smith (Dr)
Department of Archaeology (CAHOR - Centre for Applied Human Origins 
Research)
University of Southampton (Avenue Campus)
Southampton, Hants
SO17 1BF
02380-596 864 (direct)
07771-623 096 (mobile)

-----Original Message-----
From: The Forum for Information Standards in Heritage (FISH) 
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Andy Howard
Sent: 24 October 2014 09:50
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [FISH] [MASSMAIL] Re: [FISH] Labels, Lithics and Landforms 
e-conference -Session 2: Landforms and sediments

Dear all

In terms of find spots and monuments for the Palaeolithic, to my mind this 
is a minor concern.  Most Palaeolithic finds (for sake of argument hand
axes) are isolated and hence largely recycled - how many intact Palaeolithic 
surfaces do we have in the UK.  The key point is to get archaeologists 
thinking in terms of lithostratgigraphic units (i.e. deposits of a 
particular age and type which are mappable in the landscape (and hopefully 
to some extent, predicatable).  When thinking about these units, 
archaeologists really need to move away from thinking contexts (and lots of
them) as they do for later deposits.

BW

A

Dr Andy Howard MIfA
Landscape Research & Management
Tel. +44 (0)1746 769739
Mob. 07791 840205
Skype: andy.howard14
http://landscape-research-management.co.uk/

Co-editor, Journal of Archaeological Science Reports 
http://ees.elsevier.com/jasrep/

Honorary Research Fellow, Dept. of Archaeology, University of 
Durham -----Original Message-----
From: Carlisle, Philip
Sent: Friday, October 24, 2014 9:39 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [FISH] [MASSMAIL] Re: [FISH] Labels, Lithics and Landforms 
e-conference -Session 1: summary and thank you

I would echo Nick's sentiments.

We can and probably should make changes to any/all of the terminologies 
involved but there are practical considerations which need to be taken into 
account. If we were all starting from scratch using one system which was 
optimized to record everything to everyone's satisfaction then that would be 
great but we aren't. We are using systems some of which were developed over
20 years ago and all of which are based to a greater or lesser extent on a 
recording methodology which owes much to the Ordnance Survey Archaeology 
Division index cards.

Any changes to the way we record any information (not just dating) will have 
cost implications for redeveloping software. I don't want to bang on about 
this but it is a major and real concern. The changes we are talking about in 
this conference are necessary but the current recording practice and some 
software modules may not be able to handle the full complexity to everyone's 
satisfaction.

As much as discussing the terminologies themselves we need to consider how 
they will be used and implemented in software. We don't want to end up 
having to shoe-horn a practically-perfect terminology into a recording form 
with a 'that'll do' attitude.

Phil

________________________________________
From: The Forum for Information Standards in Heritage (FISH) 
[[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Nick Boldrini 
[[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 24 October 2014 09:16
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [FISH] [MASSMAIL] Re: [FISH] Labels, Lithics and Landforms 
e-conference -Session 1: summary and thank you

I was following this (or at least trying to) Yesterday, but didn't have time 
to post, so here goes.

A general point to consider is this - which may be implicit in the 
discussion but doesn't appear to be.

If this system is for HER use then it needs to be useable with the 
information HERs are given.

HERs can (generally) records specific dates ie type in the years "-5000" and 
the appropriate period term will be selected. In that sense we are reliant 
on the Source of information giving the date - and the term they use is in 
some sense irrelevant - if the terminology changes for what "-5000" is 
called, then the system can update the term easily enough

More problematic is when we have a source which just gives the date as "Late 
Palaeolithic" or another generic term. If the term date range changes, and 
the terms options change - how do I know what to change it too? In this 
sense there needs to be a mapping from old to new terms, but also guidance 
on what to use if there is potentially more than one term that it could be 
(ie Late Palaeolithic now has two terms spanning the same dates - but from 
the information I have I cannot determine which is more appropriate).

I know there are ways round this - but they need to be built into the new 
terminology scope notes in a way that non Paleo-Specialist HER officers 
(hey - that's me!) can understand and decode given information that may be 
vague to start with

This isn't a huge issue for us ( we have 8 HER records allegedly
Palaeolithic) but it is something to bear in mind

Best wishes

Nick Boldrini
Historic Environment Record Officer
Ext 267008

From: The Forum for Information Standards in Heritage (FISH) 
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Campbell, Gill
Sent: 23 October 2014 19:19
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [MASSMAIL] Re: [FISH] Labels, Lithics and Landforms 
e-conference -Session 1: summary and thank you

Oh dear unfortunate typo. Corrected below

Gill
From: The Forum for Information Standards in Heritage (FISH) 
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Campbell, Gill
Sent: 23 October 2014 19:11
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: [FISH] Labels, Lithics and Landforms e-conference -Session 1:
summary and thank you

Dear colleagues ,

Thank you very much for attending this session.. A brief summary is given 
below and we will produce a longer summary for discussion and comment 
following on from the conference.

Labels, Lithics and Landforms e-conference on controlled vocabularies for 
Palaeolithic and Mesolithic data: summary of session 1: Chronology

There was some debate at the start of the session concerning the use of BP,
BC and BCE. In terms of the FISH period list BC/AD is used.   Whether using
BP or BC this needs to be made clear in publications and clear in terms of 
metadata used.

1.    An earlier start for the Palaeolithic.
There is overwhelming agreement that the start date needs to be put 
ck.  -1000, 000 years is suggested for a start date, though some
participants favoured   -950,000  or possibly -850,000.
2.    Resolving the Early, Lower and Middle Palaeolithic, and sub-divisions.
Participants felt that the debate should focus on defining the Palaeolithic 
in the UK< Deciding where to put the divisions is problematic.
There was general agreement that the period up to the Anglian glaciation can 
be defined as Earlier Lower Palaeolithic but disagreement about where the 
boundary should fall and division beyond this.
3.    Upper Palaeolithic - divide or not.
Division makes sense:  Early Upper Palaeolithic between -40,000 and- 22,000, 
and a Late Upper Palaeolithic between -18,000 and -10,000 BP.
4.    The Mesolithic - how to deal with overlap with final Upper
Palaeolithic.
Could consider overlapping the dates but have a date for the end of the 
Palaeolithic at -10,000 or -9,500. Need to gather views on the division 
between Early/Late subdivision of the Mesolithic.
5.    Having a separate list of terms and date-ranges for geological MI
(Marine Isotope) Stages and glacial/interglacial episodes in the UK.
Support for this but idea.
6.    Reconsidering the distinction, and where to place the boundary,
between Early Prehistoric and Later Prehistoric.
Unfortunately we did not have sufficient time to debate this issue. But 
would welcome your thoughts following the conference


I look forward to tomorrow and more interesting discussion in session 2


Kind regards
Gill


Gill Campbell
Head of Environmental Studies
English Heritage
T: 02392 856780
English Heritage Science Network Convenor

www.english-heritage.org.uk<http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/>


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information in any way nor act in reliance on it. Any information sent to 
English Heritage may become publicly available.

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