Archaeological services - how to select them

The historic environment – choosing a good consultant (part 1)

There are a number of important points that a developer should consider with regard to commissioning archaeology and heritage consultants. Helen Martin-Bacon, of Commercial Archaeology in this first part of a two part article, guides clients through some of the pitfalls and demonstrates what to look out for…

Qualities you should expect – part one

The following article is based on my own experiences over many years in the fields of archaeology and heritage or as they are collectively now known in the trade ‘The Historic Environment’.

“In the main, for any of you who don’t already know, the HE consultant’s role is to guide and advise clients on a diverse range of archaeological and heritage issues and/or requirements which can arise during the planning process for developments of all kinds.”

In no particular order, here are my first five pointers on what makes a good Historic Environment consultant.

  1. Has a wide-ranging knowledge of matters as disparate as planning procedure, of development itself, for example, construction, site clearance, mineral extraction, of heritage legislation, of local and national planning guidance as well as, of course, archaeological practice (below-ground remains) and the historic built environment (above-ground remains)
  2. Is adept at negotiation and at liaison thus able to interact effectively with Local Authority Planning Archaeologists (‘curators’), with consultees such as Historic England, with client design and master-planning teams, with archaeological contractors, with Principal Contractors and with the public and media to name but a few
  3. Makes recommendations and provides advice to a client which is data-supported, researched and carefully considered and not provided in isolation from the multi-disciplinary aspects of a project
  4. Is able to integrate their own specialism in archaeology and the historic built environment into multi-disciplinary teams, particularly the case on large-scale schemes and ensures a co-ordinated approach during project implementation
  5. Gathers detailed information from the client about the proposed development scheme from foundation design through to operational construction activities.

Read “Qualities you should  expect – part two” »