The Archaeology Data Service has kindly agreed to provide archiving facilities for York System files at no cost (unless providing archiving for the entire excavation records of a site), making completed databases available over their website for other zooarchaeologists to examine. Detailed metadata thus need to be recorded in order to place each assemblage in its temporal and spatial context, and to make it possible to search for the data set. The standard information to be provided includes the site name and code, its location (including grid references), the site directors or excavators, the full phasing data (and corresponding dates in centuries), the names, addresses and contact details of the faunal analysts involved, the classes of species identified, and any publication details. It is also essential to indicate the level of customisation in the database, as this will aid inter-site comparisons. The introductory forms in the York System are dedicated to this information, which can be added any time prior to deposition with the ADS.
This information will also prove useful to zooarchaeologists not using the York System but wishing to access assemblages recorded using it, and perhaps compare it to their own recording systems. Actual data will be available for downloading as text files (.txt), and when used in conjunction with customisation metadata, it will theoretically be possible to reconstruct these raw data into a different recording system. This will naturally require a moderately advanced level of database expertise, but should make data recorded in the York System available to all who desire access to it.
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Last updated: Thu Mar 13 2003