The BAS gazetteer

The Berkshire Iron Age and Roman research projects involved researching, summarising and interpreting the archaeology found on a large number of sites in Berkshire and parts of the surrounding counties.  Controlling this mass of information required us to manage large datasets.  Producing maps of this information involved using either a geographic information system (GIS) or a drawing package which supports layers such as Adobe Illustrator.

The BAS gazetteer is an information system which simplifies this work for future projects.  At the core of the system is a database linked to a geographic information system.  The database design complies with the MIDAS British cultural heritage standard for recording information on buildings, archaeological sites, shipwrecks, parks and gardens, battlefields, areas of interest and artefacts.  The geographic information system has been loaded with maps released under free to use licences by the Ordnance Survey and others.

The documentation for the system includes:

  1. An introduction to the system, the MIDAS standard and geographic information systems
  2. A system specification
  3. A validation use case
  4. Compliance statements
  5. A user guide
  6. Details of the specialisations applied to the basic information technology to make it usable by the Berkshire Archaeological Society
  7. An example of its use to research the Iron Age in and around Berkshire 
  8. An explanation of how information held in the system has been integrated with external databases, in the first instance, the Roman Rural Settlement database developed by the University of Reading, Cotswold Archaeology and others 

We have approached Historic England to discuss our compliance statements (item 4 above) with them before we publish them.

The Society is currently using the system carry out research into Roman and Early Medieval Berkshire.  It has the potential to help other Societies and individuals with similar interests.

For copies of the documentation and more information about this system send an email to projects(at) For security we are not publishing email addresses as direct links. Please re-type substituting the @ symbol for (at)

Copies of the MIDAS heritage data standard can be found at:

Exploring the archaeology, history and heritage of Berkshire