Unexpected discoveries during construction can lead to stalled projects and unexpected costs. To avoid any problems down the road, we work with our clients to ensure that all risks are known before a project gets underway.

A site evaluation will help us identify what archaeological features are present and what impact the development will have. Aerial photography and geophysical surveys can help us recognise above ground features, but understanding what is buried underneath can require more intrusive evaluations. The most common type of evaluation is trial trenching.

If significant evidence is uncovered during a site evaluation which cannot be avoided or preserved on site, archaeological excavation could be required.

Our team will ensure that all archaeological work is designed and carried out in accordance with Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) standards and guidance.

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Trial Trenching Evaluations

Trial trench evaluations are intrusive evaluations used to determine the archaeological potential of a site. They are often required by local authorities to help them determine whether detailed archaeological work is needed before approving a development.

Using GPS, trenches can be targeted on specific areas of interest identified by desk-based assessments and geophysical surveys. Size and depth can vary. The aim of trial trenching is to excavate only as much as required to determine the archaeological value of a site.

Once the trench is opened, usually by mechanical excavator, the trench will be examined by hand and any findings are recorded. Relevant data is compiled in a concise report for the client and local planning authority. If archaeological evidence is found, further work could include further investigation, an in-depth archaeological excavation, or archaeological monitoring during development (a watching brief). We will work closely with the client to find pragmatic, cost-effective solution.

Archaeological Excavations

Archaeological excavations can be required when significant archaeological remains are found which cannot be avoided or preserved in situ. If this happens, we will work to best record the site’s significance whilst ensuring the project can be delivered safely, on time and in budget.

By the time excavation is being considered, we will have a good understanding of the scale and cost of works needed. We can provide expert project management of archaeological excavations from the design stage through to the completion of post-excavation assessment.

Please speak to our team Diarmuid O’Seaneachain diarmuid.oseaneachain@adas.co.uk for a bespoke solution for your development site.