Bioarchaeology Module - Loading please hold... Recording human bioarchaeological data from portuguese archaeological field reports.

Ana Seabra, Cristina Barroso-Cruz, Filipa Neto


In accordance with Portuguese Law, which holds the recording and inventory of information as the cornerstone for Heritage Protection and Safeguard, the DGPC – Directorate-General of Cultural Heritage in the capacity of being the state entity responsible for heritage management houses the main archive of Portuguese Archaeology, including fieldwork reports for storage, preservation and consultation.
Since 1997 an increase of archaeological fieldwork in Portugal has lead to a consequent increase of the number of reports (grey literature) produced. It is also during this exponential growth that the recording of human remains has evolved from a brief, footnote-like mention to more detailed records, due in part to a stricter demand for accountability concerning this kind of heritage. In an effort to overcome the absence of common standards for the production of anthropological field reports and also to minimize the discrepancies brought on by inter-observer error, in 2014 a legal recommendation was produced addressing the specificities of archaeological human remains and implementing a common core of ad minima procedures to be reported.
In addition to the archive of written reports, the DGPC also develops and maintains a database for the recording of a wide spectrum of archaeological data – Endovélico, which in recent years has been developing a module dedicated to register bioanthropological data, with the aim to constitute a complementary record to the written reports, making their information more accessible for research.

In this poster communication we will present our experience with the implementation of the bioanthropological module and offer a reflection regarding the selection of the data to input and the best way to record it with the purpose of enabling access and potentiating research, therefore creating a valuable source of information for the improvement of knowledge.