Archaeological evaluation / Archaeological test-pitting

Archaeological trenchingArchaeological evaluation involves quite literally evaluating the presence, nature and preservation of archaeological remains within a development area. Archaeological evaluation usually occurs in the pre-determination or pre-application stage of the planning process, and involves the excavation of trenches, the size and number of which is usually decided upon as a percentage of the land area which is going to be developed (usually 3-10% depending on the Local Authority involved).

The results of the evaluation decides the level of mitigation (if any) that will be imposed as a planning condition on the site in question.

Often, these trenches are excavated in the first instance by a mechanical excavator, such as a JCB, under archaeological supervision. The archaeologists then take over with hand tools as soon as the first archaeological horizon is uncovered.The trenches are cleaned, features investigated and in some cases environmental samples taken and artefacts sent to specialists where necessary.

Where working space is restricted or only small areas of excavation required by the Local Authority, archaeological test-pitting is often a requirement for evaluation, rather than large trenches.

These test-pits are a quick way of evaluating an area though their window on the archaeological remains is much smaller. Test-pitting is also often used on sensitive areas such as graveyards when attempting to find wall foundations for repair or replacement.

Where possible, test-pits are usually excavated purely by hand, though in cases where tarmac or other modern overburden has to be removed a small mechanical excavator is often used.

Vindomora Solutions Ltd offer a full evaluation and test-pitting service, calling on a number of specialists (where required) to make sure the work is completed as soon as possible to the highest quality in order to inform the planning process.

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Excavating on the hilltop

Thoughts on SWAAG 2019

In July 2019 Tony and Mick from Vindomora Solutions Ltd acted as professional support for this year’s Swaledale and Arkengarthdale Archaeology Group‘s excavations at The Hagg, Fremington, in Swaledale. The group’s annual excavations at the site started back in 2012 and it was good to see the progress made when this season’s excavation closed and we got the site plan updated…

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Vindomora Solutions Ltd
Archaeological Practice

Registered Office
2nd floor Prospect House
Prospect Business Park
Valley View
County Durham DH8 7PW

Company Registration No. 9505415
Registered in England & Wales

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