In order for conservation services to be carried out efficiently, their officers need access to a complete and up to date record of archaeological sites. The key issue for the formulation of conservation policy and research planning is the correct identification of archaeological heritage resources (Prinke 2002b). Since 1978 the prime method for recording archaeological sites in Poland has been the Archaeological Record of Poland (Archeologiczne Zdjęcie Polski - AZP). It is mainly based on a complex method of field walking which enables the identification of archaeological resources in the country. As a result, the record of archaeological sites, which is at the disposal of the conservation offices, is made up of ‘manual’ catalogued cartographic documentation typical for the represented region.

Field walking

In order to improve the process of acquiring, storing, processing and presenting data it has been suggested that a Geographic Information System (GIS) should be introduced. The biggest advantage of using this tool is the potential to integrate and analyse varied information as well as consolidating research outcomes into one coherent whole. This is important not only for the growth of archaeology in general, but also for the development of a complex system of research methods, which would incorporate qualitative as well as quantitative data.