Contribute: Text conventions

Text conventions

Please help us to improve the speed of publication by submitting manuscripts which follow the instructions below. If you have any queries before submission please contact the Editorial Office (assistant [at]


Antiquity uses English UK spellings.


  • Initials in personal names should be separated by full-stops with no spaces, e.g. A.J. Roberts, but no full-stop should be used for upper-case abbreviations, e.g. USA, RCAHMS
  • Quotes should be placed in normal text and within double quotation marks
  • Short quotes should be placed within the text, longer quotes should be indented
  • Compass points should be hyphenated, e.g. north-west, south-southeast
  • n-dashes (–) should be used to represent a range, e.g. 1342-1350 BC, and in page spans 45-50
  • m-dashes (—) may be used to separate a nested clause or phrase


Roman numerals are to be avoided whenever possible. Numbers less than 10 should be spelt out; Arabic numerals should be used for all numbers 10 and above except century names, which are always spelt out. If a number occurs in a phrase in which most of the numbers are above nine, use Arabic numerals for all: e.g.

  • first century
  • nine sherds
  • 11 coins, 15 lamps and 3 statuettes
  • twentieth century

Use a space instead of a comma in long numbers, except if under 10 000, e.g.

  • 5467
  • 11 465
  • 4 500 000


Antiquity uses BC/AD not BCE/CE.

AD comes before the date, BC after, except when using a century name, e.g.

  • 3500 BC
  • AD 1066
  • tenth century AD

Dates in text should be given as (number) (month) (year), no ordinals: e.g. 30 January 2010.

Dates should be hyphenated when used adjectivally, e.g. nineteenth-century object, but not in noun phrases, e.g. the early nineteenth century.


  • Abbreviations should end in a full-stop e.g. no. (number), fig. (figure), pl. (plate)
  • Contractions do not require a full-stop, e.g. St, Dr, Mr, Mrs
  • Measurements should be abbreviated and follow the number without a space and without full-stops, e.g. 100km, 56mm (millimetres should be used in preference to centimetres)
  • Areas should be written as, e.g. 24m²
  • Per cent is two words but authors may use the symbol (%) where it appears frequently, please be consistent
  • Radiocarbon, when not spelled out should be presented as 14C


Use capitals sparingly: initials and proper names only, e.g. the Near East, but eastern England. Standard archaeological periods are capitalised, e.g. Neolithic, Mesolithic.

Latin words

Latin and other foreign words and abbreviations should only be used sparingly. Commonly used Latin words and abbreviations are not italicised, less common words and abbreviations should be italicised. The following Latin words and abbreviations are acceptable:

  • common (don't italicise): cf., e.g., etc., i.e., N.B.
  • less common (italicise): ad hoc, circa = c., et al., in situ, per se, terminus post/ante quem, vs