About the Oracle WORD database
The Oracle WORD database was designed to permit the rapid recording of human remains, and to allow these data to be easily queried for research and curation purposes by the Museum of London (Connell and Rauxloh 2003). The database has been rigorously tested by twelve osteologists, and since 2003 has been updated to reflect current user needs.
The recording system follows the recommended professional standards: Buikstra and Ubelaker (1994), Brickley and McKinley (2004), and Mays et al (2003). The Osteology Method Statement revised 2012 (PDF 514kb, opens in new window), details the methods used to determine age, sex, stature and skeletal indices; and describes how skeletal and dental pathology is classified, diagnosed and recorded.
The WORD database system has three main components used to record subadult and adult individuals:
(1) To capture basic contextual information for each skeleton
(2) To record all bones and teeth present
(3) To record: morphological indicators of age and sex, metrical and non-metrical data, and evidence for dental and skeletal disease.
In relation to the database and its use, coding and procedures for data entry have been standardised. The database manual (PDF 194kb) describes the coding used in the skeletal data recording and is a necessary tool for understanding all data downloads.