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A new Community Archaeology resource has been announced in the latest CBA Newsletter.

ISGAP‘, the Introduction to Standards and Guidance in Archaeological Practice is a new web site developed by the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) in conjunction with the Institute for Archaeologists (IfA), and supported by English Heritage, aimed at Community Archaeology projects and which “highlights the standard procedures you will need to apply when carrying out your archaeological research and investigation. Whilst we do not provide a step-by-step ‘how to’ instruction for specific methods, we do tell you about the best practice approach. We have also included essential details about your legal obligations and a helpful guide to sources of further advice or information.

There are sections for each stage of a project, covering such areas as Stewardship, Site Evaluation, Excavation, Research and Conservation of Artefacts, Publication and Dissemination and much more. The standards derive directly from the Institute for Archaeologists’ (IfA) Standards and Guidance, and so ideally should be followed by professionals and volunteers alike, no matter what the scale or circumstance of archaeological work.

Although the ‘Using ISGAP’ page refers to downloadable modules, the only obvious download links are to associated supplementary documents which expand on the material on each page. Each section or module is a single page, so maybe that’s what is meant by downloadable? Another minor quibble – on the same page reference is made to 17 modules, but only 15 sections are listed. On the ‘Documentation’ menu link the same 15 are listed, whilst on the Documentation page and on the Home Page, a list of 18 sections is given.

Despite these inconsistencies, there is a lot of information contained within the site and ample links to more detailed information. In all, this should be a useful information resource for any archaeological project, regardless of which stage the project may have reached.

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