The technical terms and organisational names and acronyms used by archaeologists are manifold, and can be very bemusing even to those working in archaeology! The glossary below is hence quite large, but should contain most of the terms and names that you are likely to come across in archaeology in the United Kingdom. To help with finding the term you are looking for, it is divided into three sections: archaeology and heritage organisations; projects and resources, and technical archaeological terms.
The glossary terms are taken primarily from the IfA Standards and Guidance, and also from Informing the Future of the Past:Guidelines for Historic Environment Records (http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/ifp). Further terminology, should you need it, can also be accessed via the MDA Archaeological Objects Thesaurus (http://thesaurus.english-heritage.org.uk/frequentuser.htm).
## Archaeology and Heritage Organisations, and their acronyms
**AHDS** - Arts and Humanities Data Service: funded by the academic community to collect, catalogue and preserve digital data and distribute these for use in teaching and research.
**ALGAO UK** – Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers. www.algao.org.uk.
**Archaeology Scotland** – formerly called the Council for Scottish Archaeology. Archaeology Scotland is a voluntary membership organisation that works to secure the archaeological heritage of Scotland for its people through education, promotion and support. www.archaeologyscotland.org.uk
**ARIA** – Association of Regional and Island Archaeologists. ARIA represented the most senior archaeologists employed by or for local planning authorities in Scotland, but in 2006 merged with colleagues from England and Wales to form ALGAO UK (see above).
**ATF** – Archaeology Training Forum.
**BAR** – 1) British Archaeological Reports. 2) Buildings at Risk.
**BGS** – British Geological Survey
**BTCV** – British Trust for Conservation Volunteers.
**Cadw** – Cadw (Welsh for ‘to keep’) is the historic environment division within the Welsh Assembly Government with responsibility for protecting, conserving and promoting an appreciation of the historic environment of Wales. www.cadw.wales.gov.uk.
**CBA** – Council for British Archaeology. The CBA is an educational charity working throughout the UK to involve people in archaeology and to promote the appreciation and care of the historic environment for the benefit of present and future generations. www.britarch.ac.uk
**CBA Festival of British Archaeology** – Annual UK-wide event celebrating archaeology through publicly-accessible events, coordinated centrally by the CBA. See www.archaeologyfestival.org.uk.
**CCN** – Countryside Character Network.
**CIDOC** – Comitte International pour la Documentation, Conseil International des Musees: the Documentation Committee of the International Council of Museums.
**CIS** - Countryside Information System
**COSLA** – Convention of Scottish Local Authorities. COSLA is the representative voice of Scottish local government and also acts as the employer’s association on behalf of all Scottish Councils.
**CREE** – Contextual Resource Evaluation Environment consortium.
**CUCAP** – Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photrographs maintained by the Landscape Modelling Unit (formerly Cambridge University Committee on Aerial Photography): a body which has been involved in undertaking aerial-photographic surveys for archaeological and environmental research and management and which holds an important collection of air photographs.
**CyMAL** – Museums Archives and Libraries Wales.
**DCMS** – Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
**DEFRA** – Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. DEFRA was created in June 2001 from the then Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) and from the environmental and countryside business areas of the then Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR).
**EAA** – European Association of Archaeologists. www.e-a-a.org
**EAC** – Europae Archaeologiae Consilium
**EEA** – European Economic Area: includes all member states of the European Union plus some countries with associated status.
**ENGAGE** – National Association for Gallery Education.
**EU** – European Union.
**EH** - English Heritage (The Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission): the statutory body which achieves, enables and promotes conservation of the historic environment in England. www.english-heritage.org.uk.
**FAME** – Federation of Archaeological Managers and Employers
**FISH** – Forum on Information Standards in Heritage (formerly FISHEN).
**FWAG** – Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group.
**GEM** – Group for Education in Museums. www.gem.org.uk.
**HELM** – Historic Environment – Local Management. HELM provides accessible information, training and guidance to decision makers in local authorities, regional agencies and national organisations whose actions affect the historic environment. Working with key partners, HELM aims to provide the tools to manage change in the historic environment with increased skill and confidence. English Heritage promotes the need for properly resourced and actively consulted historic environment departments, conservation officers, archaeologists and historic environment records. More than 40% of local authorities have now appointed historic environment champions to provide leadership on heritage issues.
**HEACS** – Historic Environment Advisory Council for Scotland. The Council provides independent strategic advice to Scottish Ministers on issues affecting the historic environment. www.heacs.org.uk.
**HEIRNET** – Historic Environment Information Resources Network: a consortium of UK bodies hosted by the CBA seeking to co-ordinate inter-operability between information systems relating to the historic environment. www.britarch.ac.uk/heirnet.
**HER Forum** – Historic Environment Records Forum, co-ordinated by English Heritage and ALGAO (and formerly named SMR Forum), is a discussion forum for HER professionals. Discussions are held through an e-mail discussion list and twice-yearly meetings. Its Newsletter _HER News_ is now part of the Heritage Gateway.
**Historic Scotland** – Historic Scotland is an Agency within the Scottish Executive Education Department and is directly responsible to Scottish Ministers for safeguarding the nation’s built heritage, and promoting its understanding and enjoyment. www.historic-scotland.gov.uk
**HLF** – Heritage Lottery Fund. Major funder of heritage projects, particularly those involving local communities – www.hlf.org.uk.
**ICOM** – International Council of Museums. Organisation for promotion and development of museums and museum professionals at an international level. http://icom.museum.
**lCOMOS** – International Council on Monuments and Sites: the international body responsible for preparing reports on sites proposed for inclusion on the World Heritage list for consideration by the World Heritage Committee. www.icomos.org.
**IfA** – Institute for Archaeologists (formerly called the Institute of Field Archaeologists): is the professional organisation for archaeologists in the United Kingdom. It promotes professional standards and ethics for conserving, managing, understanding and promoting enjoyment of heritage.
**IGGI** – Inter Governmental Group on Geographic Information.
**IHBC** – Institute of Historic Building Conservation. IHBC is the professional institute which represents conservation professionals in the public and private sectors in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The Institute exists to establish the highest standards of conservation practice to support the effective protection and enhancement of the historic environment.
**LGA** – Local Government Association. The LGA promotes the interests of English and Welsh local authorities. It aims to put local councils at the heart of the drive to improve public services and to work with government to ensure that the policy, legislative and financial context in which they operate supports that objective.
**LSC** – Learning and Skills Council.The LSC is responsible for funding and planning education and training for over 16-year-olds in England
**Mda** – UK-wide organisation which supports the development and application of cultural information-management standards for museums and similar organisations (formerly the Museums Documentation Association).
**MAFF** – Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
**MLA** – Museums, Libraries and Archives Council: established to replace the former MGC on 1 April 2000 and immediately renamed Resource: The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries, The name Resouce has since been droPped in favour of MLA. MLA is the strategic body working with and for museums, archives and libraries, tapping the potential for collaboration between them. The organisation replaces the Museums and Galleries Commission (MGC) and the Library and Information Commission (LIC) and now includes archives within its portfolio. Former names have also included MLAC and Resource.
**MOD** – Ministry of Defence.
**MSC** – Manpower Services Commission: a government agency which funded programmes with the aim of giving work experience to people who had been unemployed for long periods of time. Many local government organisations ran MSC-funded schemes to capture information into Sites and Monuments Records (SMRs).
**NAS** – Nautical Archaeology Society. www.nauticalarchaeologysociety.org.
**Natural England** – Natural England brings together English Nature, the Countryside Agency and the Rural Development Service.
**NMGW** – National Museums and Galleries of Wales.
**NMS** – National Museums Scotland
**NOF** – New Opportunities Fund: one of the agencies established by the Government to distribute funds from the National Lottery.
**NoSAS** – North of Scotland Archaeological Service.
**OS** – Ordnance Survey.
**OS Archaeology Division** – The division of the Ordnance Survey, established by O G S Crawford in the 1930s, which identified and recorded archaeological sites and monuments for inclusion on Ordnance Survey maps.
**PAS** – Portable Antiquities Scheme Established by the DCMS with the British Museum to promote the recording of archaeological objects found in England and Wales by members of the public, particularly metal-detector users. www.finds.org.uk.
**Public Record Office** – The national organisation responsible for curating archive collections that include national government papers.
**RAF** – Royal Air Force: the RAF has been engaged in aerial photography and other remote-sensing techniques since its inception. In the ten years after World War II, the RAF undertook routine aerial-survey programmes to produce vertical photographs for use by the OS in mapmaking.
**RCHME** – Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. In 1999, the RCHME was merged with English Heritage.
**RCAHMS** – Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.
**RCAHMW** – Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales.
**RDA** – Regional Development Agency.
**SCONUL** – Society of College, National and University Libraries
**SDD** – Scottish Development Department
**SMR Forum (Scotland) ** – A forum formed in order to implement the recommendations of the Baker Report (1999) in Scotland’s 18 Sites and Monuments Records (SMRs).
**U3A** – University of the Third Age
**UNESCO** – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation: a specialised agency of the UN which works to preserve our cultural heritage, bringing together those who can help all nations set the course towards co-operation, development and peace.
**WAC** – World Archaeological Congress
**WAG** – Welsh Assembly Government.
**WoSAS** – West of Scotland Archaeological Service.
**YAC** – Young Archaeologists Club. www.britarch.ac.uk/yac