FISH Archaeological Objects Thesaurus

The Archaeological Objects Thesaurus was originally developed by MDA (now Collections Trust) and has been further developed by the Forum on Information Standards in Heritage (FISH). It includes terms for physical evidence, usually portable, resulting from past human activity or environmental remains that can be recovered from archaeological fieldwork.

Historic England, as part of the Forum on Information Standards in Heritage (FISH), takes a leading role in setting standards for recording the built and buried heritage. Historic England and FISH are continually developing new thesauri to provide structure and guidelines for the standardisation of terms to be used when creating new records of the past.

The top concepts in the thesaurus are:

  • Dress And Personal Accessories
  • Currency
  • Religion Or Ritual
  • Punishment And Restraint
  • Furnishings And Furniture
  • Unassigned
  • Ecofacts
  • Container
  • Manufacture And Processing
  • Tools And Equipment
  • Signs Or Symbols
  • Heating And Lighting
  • Transport
  • Animal Equipment
  • Music
  • Agriculture And Subsistence
  • Measurement
  • Sports And Games
  • Fixtures And Fittings
  • Armour And Weapons
  • Architecture
  • Visual Communications
  • Food Preparation And Consumption
  • Medicine And Pharmacy
  • Written Communications

Click the first link on the right-hand side to open this resource as a PDF in your current browser window.

Click the second link on the right-hand side to visit the Heritage Data website where you can download the RDF formats of the thesaurus.


Date created: 2020

Author: FISH

Publisher: Historic England