Archaeology UK has been created as a portal around the "ARCHI" database which we have developed over the past eight years.
The database was initially constructed to address the lack of easily available information relating to the distrubution of archaeological sites. This was particularly evident during my time as a student of archaeology at Birkbeck College, University of London, UK.
A well presented assignment would require a knowledge of the distribution of UK archaeological sites and how the landscape / geology / availability of materials etc could influence that distribution. However, one could not begin to discuss the latter without a knowledge of the former and as it was very difficult at the time to find the precise site locations within the literature, it was necessary to create my own database holding this information.
This lack of information also contributed to a missed opportunity in the my early youth to "discover" archaeology. It was known that "somewhere" on the moors was a Roman Fort. This notion obviously inspired all sorts of imaginings and was a distraction from the sometimes grim reality of life on a council estate in a Northern town. However, despite attempts to find its location from teachers, the local library etc, myself nor my equally inspired friends could find out where it was. Hence, at least the opportunity to challenge the stereotypical view that a "gang" of kids from the town could only be up to no good was missed.
The above are the initial reasons for ARCHI's conception, however, this initial concept became a labour of love and a desire for completeness. Further, technological advances such as the rise of the internet and the ability to integrate information from different databases hosted by different web sites coupled with my passion for all things archaeological, presented a challenge which could not be resisted. Hence, the continued development of the database.
The data within ARCHI has been sourced from a wide range of publications ranging from specialist books to the "mainstream" archaeological journals such as Britannia, Council for British Archaeology Reports etc. Additionally, data has been sourced from archaeological surveys published by various Local Historical / Archaeological Societies and Field Groups.
For a list of all the journal titles represented in ARCHI click here.
A small but increasing number of records are "personal communications" from field walkers. However, we only publish these findspots on our site if the finder is known to us and hence we can personally validate the source.
Who uses ARCHI?
ARCHI has a worldwide reach. We have had subscriptions from British and American University Archaeology / History Departments, Schools, Archaeological Societies & Clubs, County Archaeology Departments, Archaeological Consultancies, Archaeology students and Hobbyists from Australia to Mexico.