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Evaluation excavation

This service is one which commercial developers are likely to use to identify different areas of activity within a development site.
Evaluations can also help developers to understand the potential for further archaeology on site and to effectively prepare a management programme to minimize risk and manage costs. They are also sometimes used as a tool in the pre-planning stage in order to inform land owners about potential risks and costs in order to strategize effectively. Once planning permission has been granted for development sites and an evaluation excavation needs to be conducted, a Written Scheme of Investigation (WSI) is prepared by the archaeological contractor in advance of ground works. The WSI will outline the agreed plan of action which has been defined by the County Archaeologist. Once the WSI is approved by the Planning Authority, the archaeological contractor and client are bound to the methodology within it. Please note that we no longer undertake the physical  evaluation archaeology but we can produce the WSI documents and liaise with other archaeological contractors who can provide the necessary fieldwork, based on the WSI.
The evaluation is done in advance of development, where a specific trench or number of trenches, is agreed beforehand and then managed and excavated by the site archaeologist who oversees the project and records any archaeology encountered, as the trenches are stripped down to the natural geology. Once the fieldwork is completed, a final report is drawn up by the project manager. If very little is found, a short report comments on the archaeology present on the site. If significant archaeology is found, there will be a requirement to prepare an assessment for the post excavation stage which will highlight a timetable, as well as likely costs for preparing the final report. The report will be the final stage and the planning conditions will be removed once the document has been approved by the County Archaeology Team and the Planning Authority. However, it should also be noted that if significant archaeology such as burial sites and masonry is encountered, the County Archaeologist will often request further fieldwork to be completed.


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