Naming rules for NESPOS Objects - Sites and site related data

For the consistency of the database, all sites and site related data in the "Public NESPOS Space", a simple, but consistent way to enter the names of NESPOS Objects is necessary. These 'Naming rules' should be a guide to all users, how to names their data.

A.) Definitions

Naming objects:

The name of an object must be as simple as possible. However, it must give the user a hint where the object is classified in the logic of the site.

  • The name of the site, should be used for every Object. If the site was excavated in serveral excavation campaigns, the name of the excavated area or/and the end + the start year should be added. The latter (excavation area) only if necessary, because sometimes only the "site" is sufficient (or known).
    General Rule: Site-(excavation area) - name of the object



'Excavation Area' in that case means, the area that has been excavated during an excavation campaign. The Area can be the name of a cave or a part of a cave, it can also be a number for the excavation area etc.. The added period (start/end year) should make it clear, that this excavation campaign is one archaeological unity that belongs together.

  • The excavation name should by added with the start/end year of the excavation campaign. The start/end year are only obligatory for the "excavation object" and optional for every other object (e.g. if it is needed to define different excavation campains, which have elsewise the same name).
  • Name of Excavator in Object Name:
    By following the naming rule: 'Site-Area-name of object', usually the object is clearly defined. It might be necessary to add also the name of the excavator, if a stratigraphy is interpreted differently by another excavator. Only, if it is not possible to refer to an excavation campaign, than the Name of the Excavator should be added to the Stratigraphy Objects, in order to differ between several stratigraphies, interpretated by different excavators.
  • The layer name can be added to define an assemblage, if wanted (or needed to avoid duplicates)

Additional Info for naming site related data:

  • The addition of the name of the site and the area (excavation object) give the user the information, from which site the object/assemblage comes (below named as site-area).
  • to differentiate between several excavations the start/end year can be added optionally for any single, individual or assemblage object, but it should always be added for the excavation object itself. This is especially the case when the site name and the excavation name is the same.
  • for a better determination of single, individual or assemblage objects, the synonym for the layer can be added after the excavation name (optional). This is to avoid double names for objects from the same layer.

Use of symbols:

Specific symbols cannot be used in NESPOS, because there is a limitation for entering NESPOS Object Names. Therefore it is not allowed to use the following characters:

(:, @, /, %, \, &, > !, |, #, $, *, ;, ~, [DiscussionForumSpace:, ], (, ), {, }, <, >). 

We propose to use only:

, (comma)
- (hyphen)
_ (underline)
' (apostrophe) 

Avoiding duplicates:

  • The danger to give a double name exists especially with the assemblages.
    • only the symbols mentioned above should be used to separate the names. There should be a common choice of one, or two. We suggest to separate names with comma.
    • To avoid duplicates, we propose to use moderating words at the end of the Object name, e.g., fauna; artefacts; flora; human remain. These extensions should be comma separated.
      Ex: Bocksteinschmiede-Bocksteinloch - Layer m, fauna

B.) Naming Rules (Sites and site related data):

  • Site:

    Rule: Name of site
    Ex: Abri Suard
  • Excavation:

    Rule: Name of site - Area (equivalent with excavation area) + Start/End Year
    Ex: Bockstein-Abhang 1953-1956, or
    Ex: Abri Suard 1967-1983
  • Stratigraphy:

    There are two kinds of 'Stratigraphy Objects':
    1.) 'Stratigraphical sequences' are only revealed during the excavation campaign. It can be one profile in a test trench, etc...
    2.) The 'general stratigraphy' is the interpretation of the complete geological feature.
    • General stratigraphy
      Rule: Site, general stratigraphy (added all the time)
      Ex: Abri Suard, general stratigraphy
    • Stratigraphical Sequence
      Rule: Site-Area, name of the sequence (additionally with the name of the excavator, if needed)
      Ex: Bocksteinschmiede 1932-1936, profile 8
      Ex: Abri Suard, profile ouest, excavation Pierre David
  • Layer:

    To avoid duplicates or to differ between different excavation campaigns the excavation area or the start/end year of the excavation campaign can be added optionally,
    Rule: Site-Area - name of layer
    Ex: Neumark-Nord 2, layer 7
    Ex: Bockstein-Brandplatte, layer f
    Ex: Abri Suard 1930-1963, layer 3
    Ex: Abri Suard 1967-1983, layer 3
  • Assemblages (fauna, flora, artefact, human remain):

    For the assemblages, where the name of the site would be entered twice, it is expedient to enter only the name of the of the assemblage and the extension. So instead of Königsaue-Königsaue A, fauna, the object name would only be: Königsaue A, fauna. This way dublicates within the object names are avoided.
    Rule: Site-Area - (layer, if wanted), name of the assemblage, extension (fauna, flora, artefacts, human remains)
    Ex: Bocksteinschmiede-Bocksteinloch - Layer l, fauna
    Ex: Königsaue A, fauna
    Ex: Abri Bourgeois-Delaunay - Layer 8, human remains
  • Individuals (only fauna and human remain):

    Same rule as for assemblages: For the individuals, where the name of the site would be entered twice, it is expedient to enter only the name of the of the "Human remain individual", e.g. Neanderthal 1.
    Rule: Site-Area - (layer, if wanted), name of the individual (taxon name for fauna)
    Ex: Regourdou 1
    Ex: Abri Bourgeois Delaunay 1930-1963 - Equus caballus germanicus
  • Single: (only artefact, fauna, flora, human remain)

    If any ID number of the object (artefact; fauna, human remain)is known, it should be entered in the synonym name field. The Item ID (if known), like an individual ID for an archaeological object, should only be used for objects (fauna, flora, artefact), which have otherwise the same object name. Instead: Königsaue A, side-scraper A; better: Königsaue A, sidescraper Kö1234.
    Rule: Site-Area - name of object (short description for artefact, + Item ID (optional); name of the remain for human, faunal and floral remain)
    Ex: Lehringen - wooden lance
    Ex: Abri Suard 1930-1963 - S36
    Ex: Abri Suard 1967-1983 - K14-159
    Ex: Abri Suard 1967-1983 - femur
  • Archaeological feature:

    Rule: Site-Area (layer, if wanted) - Name/descriptive word for the archaeological feature
    Ex: Regourdou - burial

C.) Other

Multimedia Object:

To differ between other NESPOS Objects, the MM-object should have an extension at its beginning.

  • PDF for a pdf text file
  • P_PDF for a pdf poster file
  • 6F for a pseudo 3D object
  • CT for a CT-scan
  • VE for a virtual excavation (GeoCore file)
  • LDX generally for GeoCore files
  • STL for a polygon model
  • X3D for a polygon model (3D-model)
    Rule: type of MM file_Name of MM-Object or Site/Area
    Ex: VE_Bockstein-Slope
    Ex: 6F_Bockstein-Brandplatte Retoucher


Rule: Site-Area (layer, if wanted)- Lab Number
Ex: Salzgitter-Lebenstedt - GrN 10702

Modern reference data:

Rule: Taxon - skeletal part/name of bone - ID
Ex: Homo sapiens - Molar 3, HSS3000, or
Rule: Taxon, ID
Ex: Homo sapiens sapiens, HSS3001

Map Object:

Rule: Country/Continent/Mapped area-(additionally kind of map)
Ex: France
Ex: Switzerland - shaded
Ex: West and Middle Europe - satellite