As our investigations at Cholsey come to a close, we thought we’d take the opportunity this week, to focus on an aspect of archaeology often ignored, the site archive. While everyone enjoys the excitement of finding new things, we are also in the process of data collection with every feature, deposit and investigation given unique identification numbers.
Documents are then produced to record their description, relationships and any interpretations. Photos are taken, scaled drawings and plans are made, and the whole is surveyed in reference to Ordnance datum. Any finds or soil samples we take are linked to these numbers through our records, and it’s this paperwork that provides the framework that allows us to understand the site. Years from now, it will also allow specialists and experts to reassess what we found in the same way that we use archaeological work from the past to help us in our investigations.