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Archaeological evaluation is the rapid determination of the presence or absence, nature and extent of archaeological remains on a site.

An evaluation can consist of non-intrusive techniques such as landscape or geophysical survey, but more often takes the form of trial trenching across the footprint of the proposed redevelopment.

Whatever the method of evaluation, Pre-Construct Archaeology can negotiate, design, undertake and manage a suitable evaluation strategy on behalf of our clients.

The results of the evaluations are used to advise the planning authority on the character, extent and importance of archaeological remains. As such, it is crucial that developers can trust the ability and experience of the organisation undertaking this type of work.


An archaeological excavation is usually undertaken as a condition of planning consent; when significant archaeological remains have been shown to exist on a site through a process of archaeological evaluation.

These works can often be the most costly and disruptive of archaeological interventions to a development programme if not properly planned and managed. At PCA, we have proven experience in undertaking excavation projects of varying size and complexity.

Excavation is undertaken in accordance with a Written Scheme of Investigation (WSI), a document produced by Pre-Construct Archaeology, on our clients’ behalf, and agreed with the Local Planning Authority (LPA).

The intention of an excavation, through methodical recording, is to preserve all or most of the archaeological remains by record. The results and analysis of the excavations will be compiled into a comprehensive illustrated report usually leading to a publication. As part of a project team, PCA will:

  • Liaise with our client and other project team members to reduce as far as possible the time we spend on site;
  • Negotiate with the LPA the parameters of fieldwork to determine a suitable mitigation strategy;
  • Maintain the highest professional standards;

Monitoring and Recording

Monitoring and Recording (Watching Brief) is most often applied as a condition of planning consent and may be either the sole archaeological requirement or as a follow-on from more major pieces of work. It is undertaken in accordance with a Written Scheme of Investigation, agreed with the Local Authority prior to its commencement.

Monitoring and Recording involves the observation of intrusive ground works by a professional archaeologist. If or when archaeological deposits are encountered, the archaeologist will request a period for adequate recording of such remains.

It is the intention that disruption to the ground works should be avoided as much as possible, for instance by the archaeologist accessing the areas during quiet periods or by the plant moving to another area of site. Cooperation is often the key during Monitoring and Recording.

Outside of the planning framework, Monitoring and Recording on geotechnical investigations often provide qualitative information of the extent of modern disturbance and the nature and extent of surviving archaeological deposits. This is a useful tool in understanding the ground conditions of a site prior to the development commencing.

PCA will approach all work professionally, with both the client’s needs and the required result in mind. On the occasions where archaeological results are not forthcoming during Monitoring and Recording, PCA will negotiate with the planning authority or their advisors to cease archaeological activity on site prior to the completion of groundworks.

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