Archaeological Site Index to Radiocarbon Dates from Great Britain and Ireland

Council for British Archaeology, 2000. (updated 2012) https://doi.org/10.5284/1017767. How to cite using this DOI

Digital Object Identifiers

Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) are persistent identifiers which can be used to consistently and accurately reference digital objects and/or content. The DOIs provide a way for the ADS resources to be cited in a similar fashion to traditional scholarly materials. More information on DOIs at the ADS can be found on our help page.

Citing this DOI

The updated Crossref DOI Display guidelines recommend that DOIs should be displayed in the following format:

https://doi.org/10.5284/1017767
Sample Citation for this DOI

Council for British Archaeology (2012) Archaeological Site Index to Radiocarbon Dates from Great Britain and Ireland [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1017767

Data copyright © Council for British Archaeology, English Heritage unless otherwise stated

This work is licensed under the ADS Terms of Use and Access.
Creative Commons License


Council for British Archaeology logo

Primary contact

Dr Mike Heyworth
Director
Council for British Archaeology
92 Micklegate
York
YO1 6JX
UK
Tel: 01904 671417
Fax: 01904 671384

Send e-mail enquiry

Resource identifiers

Digital Object Identifiers

Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) are persistent identifiers which can be used to consistently and accurately reference digital objects and/or content. The DOIs provide a way for the ADS resources to be cited in a similar fashion to traditional scholarly materials. More information on DOIs at the ADS can be found on our help page.

Citing this DOI

The updated Crossref DOI Display guidelines recommend that DOIs should be displayed in the following format:

https://doi.org/10.5284/1017767
Sample Citation for this DOI

Council for British Archaeology (2012) Archaeological Site Index to Radiocarbon Dates from Great Britain and Ireland [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1017767

Overview

This database originated in a printed index compiled by Cherry Lavell and produced by the Council for British Archaeology in 1971, with four later printed supplements to 1982, further updated in 2001. The radiocarbon determinations were gathered and collated by hand from all available sources (the journal Radiocarbon plus the entire range of UK and Irish archaeological publications, both national and more local) to produce the most accurate and complete description possible for each published date. Apart from a number of determinations that were poorly (incompletely) published, the list was comprehensive up to 1982; but thereafter the flow of dates from laboratories became too rapid for a part-time editor to collect and process, and in 1986 the collection process virtually ceased.

At about that time, however, a project to computerise the list began under the aegis of R L Otlet and A J Walker (at that time running the Harwell radioisotope laboratory, later in a private partnership - RCD Radiocarbon Dating). However, the lack of proper funding inevitably meant that progress was very slow. Since almost no radiocarbon dating laboratories were producing computerised date lists it was not possible to receive machine-readable dates directly, and manual collection and data-entry still had to be the norm. A fresh burst of activity from 1991 resulted in the accumulation and processing of many more determinations, to a total of some 4000 dates. Records of many more have been copied from the literature but await computerisation; nonetheless there remains a large backlog of material to be gleaned from journals and monographs of the mid-1980s onwards.

The extant computerised data have now been transferred from their original format (the STATUS system of Harwell Computer Power) into the present one. The records are by now as error-free as the editor can make them, but occasional slips may well remain. Nor has it been possible to apply the strict terminological control needed; almost no work has been done on compiling a suitable thesaurus, so users are advised to try alternative terms to improve retrievability. It would be a kindness if users could report any outright errors found so that they can be corrected.

The database should therefore be regarded as somewhat provisional, and the given references checked, because they will nearly always give more details about the sample to assist in assessing both its context and its validity. Users should also bear in mind that post-1982 publications may well have given further details or even offered alternative interpretations of the data represented here.

Information from the CBA's Radiocarbon Index has been supplemented in this database by further dates from the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit datelist index (although the database contains less detailed information on these samples). It is intended to approach other Radiocarbon dating laboratories to gather additional dates and update the database on a periodic basis.

The database currently holds 9,442 records.

Text prepared by Mike Heyworth (CBA Deputy Director & Information Officer) & Cherry Lavell (Radiocarbon Index Editor) 18 January 1999, updated 2001.

Text copyright © Council for British Archaeology, 2001

English Heritage ALSF supplement

In 2007 the database has been supplemented by a datelist of 477 radiocarbon determinations carried out between 2002 and 2004 in support of research funded by English Heritage through the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund. These were supplemented in 2008 by a further 647 radiocarbon dates from samples funded by English Heritage under the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund 2004-7.The datelist has been collated from information provided by the submitters of samples and the dating laboratories, in order to provide easy access to raw scientific and contextual data which may be used in further research. Many of the sites and projects from which dates have been obtained are published, or are in the process of publication. Full references are given to these reports for those requiring further detail.


ADS logo
Data Org logo
University of York logo