Classification scheme


The classification scheme used for biab was originally developed by Cherry Lavell for the British Archaeological Abstracts in the late 1960s. At the time it was the first all-embracing classification scheme devised specifically for archaeology and was adopted, with some modification, by other European archaeological bibliographies including the Polish and Nordic services.

 

Cherry Lavell's scheme was used without modification throughout the years for which BAA was published (1968-91) and it is still, perhaps, the only general scheme that covers all aspects of archaeology and is applicable to all areas of Britain and Ireland. biab continues to use the scheme as it represents sound established practice, and also has the advantage of maintaining consistency for the computer database which underpins the biab online-service.


Entries are given in order of topic within period, indicated by:


a number from 1 to 9 = period

  1. 1.General, Multi-period, Undated
  2. 2. Palaeolithic & Mesolithic
  3. 3. Neolithic
  4. 4. Bronze Age
  5. 5. Iron Age
  6. 6. Romano-British & Roman
  7. 7. Migration & Early Medieval
  8. 8. Medieval
  9. 9. Post-medieval, Industrial & Modern

The chronological framework used for biab's period classifications can be found here . The period indicator is followed by...

a letter from A to K = topic

  1. A. Principles/ History of Archaeology/ Bibliography/ Museums/ Conservation
  2. B. Fieldwork Methods/Science/Recording/Analysis/Environmental/Experimental Archaeology
  3. C. Collateral Studies (texts, coins, inscriptions, place-names)
  4. D. Cultural, Political & Historical Surveys
  5. E. Communications/ Technology/ Archaeoastronomy/ Trade/ Agriculture/ Industry
  6. F. Artefacts/ Art History/ Ships & Boats
  7. G. Rural & Urban Settlement/ Historic Landscape/ Horticulture
  8. H. Non-Christian Funerary, Pagan & Cult/Ritual
  9. I. Christian Monuments, Buildings & Ritual
  10. J. Secular Architecture & Structures
  11. K. Military Studies/ Warfare & Defence/ Provincial/Colonial Administration

So, for example, an excavation report concerning a Neolithic burial site would be 3H, whilst a study of a Roman sword would be 6K.


For the printed volumes up to 2004 we used a maximum of four classification categories per item, where necessary. Where there are more than four salient features we may classify the whole under a general heading eg. a multi-period settlement site including Iron Age, Roman, Early Medieval, medieval and post-medieval evidence may be classified as 1G.

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