The role of artefact catalogues in Australian historical archaeology: a framework for discussion

Crook, Penny, Lawrence, Susan, and Gibbs, Martin (2002) The role of artefact catalogues in Australian historical archaeology: a framework for discussion. Australasian Historical Archaeology, 20 (1). pp. 26-38.

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Efforts to utilise catalogues prepared in the past two decades of digging in Australia are often hampered by errors and inconsistencies in data, lack of comprehensive reporting, and mismanagement of assemblages, their accompanying documentation and datahases. These problems are the result of difficulties affecting other aspects of the archaeological process, such as insufficient funding, training and systematic quantification of assemblages. In order to create more reliable and more efficient catalogues in the future, it is necessary to take a step back and open the debate on the role catalogues should have in Australian historical archaeology. The authors put forward their view that catalogues must be designed to facilitate comprehensive and contextual assemblage analysis, now and in the decades to come. Having established this primary goal, the authors discuss other means to improve the efficiency and consistency of catalogue production, including standards and guidelines, quality assurance testing, reporting and physical access to assemblages and associated records. They conclude with a number of specific measures that might be enable these objectives, and importantly, welcome debate on the issue.

Item ID: 13480
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1322-9214
Keywords: artefacts; historical archaeology
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Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2010 04:36
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210199 Archaeology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 100%
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