Archaeological services

Commercial Archaeology specialises in providing clients with tailor-made solutions to any of the heritage or archaeological requirements they face within a planning-led environment.

We have extensive experience of formulating strategies which dovetail archaeological requirements into both the planning and construction processes. 

Knowledge of requirements within the commercial developer-led sector ensures that Commercial Archaeology is well placed to guide clients through the planning process and also facilitates the negotiation of proportionate and effective solutions on their behalf with Local Planning Authorities and other historic environment bodies.

Written Schemes of Investigation and Design of Fieldwork Strategies

Commercial Archaeology is able to prepare Written Schemes of Investigation (WSIs) for archaeological investigations of all kinds. All WSIs are based on detailed consultations with our clients regarding their proposed schemes and programmes, including critical milestones, and scoping discussions and negotiations with the Local Planning Authority and any other relevant historic environment body.

Commercial Archaeology’s WSIs are robust documents which contain detailed descriptions of the scope of archaeological works and allow clients to understand their commitments to archaeological investigations from the outset.

This also enables clients to tender out the works at a level of detail which means archaeological contractors will provide fee proposals for review on a like-for-like basis.

Written Schemes of Investigation can be provided for a range of archaeological fieldwork services including:

  • Geophysical survey
  • Fieldwalking/metal detecting
  • Evaluation by trial trenching
  • Geoarchaeological boreholes and deposit modelling
  • Archaeological excavation and strip, map and record
  • Watching briefs
  • Historic building recording
Procurement of Archaeological Contractors

The success of any archaeological investigation (including geophysical survey) will depend upon the professionalism and capabilities of the archaeological contractor appointed to undertake the work. 

It is crucial that an archaeological contractor has fully understood the requirements of the project and has costed the project accordingly. Commercial Archaeology has contacts throughout the UK with a range of highly experienced and capable archaeological contractors many of whom are registered archaeological organisations with the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists.  

Archaeological investigations can be tendered out to suitable organisations and competitive bids obtained on behalf of clients. The larger and more complex a scheme, the more crucial Commercial Archaeology’s knowledge of, and contacts with, archaeological units is to clients. 

Procurement services include:

  • collation of tender documentation including preparation of Written Schemes of Investigations 
  • liaison with suitable archaeological organisations
  • preparation of a bill of quantities for each archaeological investigation to ensure like for like comparisons
  • review of returned tender submissions and costs for quality and price
  • recommendation report for clients.
Project Management of Archaeological Fieldwork Projects

It is important that any archaeological investigation for a client is carried out cost-effectively and without the potential for delays.

Commercial Archaeology has the expertise and experience to ensure that fieldwork projects are undertaken by appointed archaeological contractors in the interests of the client and we work to manage and minimise the risks to development from the presence of buried archaeological remains.

All types of archaeological fieldwork investigations can be managed and co-ordinated – and because of in-depth knowledge of the operational and practical realities of running archaeological works in conjunction with commercial developer-led projects, Commercial Archaeology can ensure that projects run smoothly, complete by important deadlines and finish within budget.

The project management services offered include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Scoping and negotiations with Local Planning Authorities
  • Project design
  • Management strategies
  • Review of Risk Assessments, WSIs, Methodologies prepared by archaeological contractors
  • Monitoring of fieldwork activities on behalf of clients
  • Input into masterplans and attendance at design team meetings
  • Integration into archaeological fieldwork projects of outreach and public and community participation such as open days and exhibitions
  • Monitoring post excavation assessment and reporting to ensure timely completion of all necessary archaeological reports and publications.
Fieldwork Services

Commercial Archaeology is able to provide efficient and professional fieldwork services for all types of development scheme. Commercial Archaeology’s background is rooted in the realities of carrying out archaeological fieldwork in a range of circumstances from complex, deeply buried archaeology in urban contexts through to large-scale archaeological investigations over extensive areas of greenfield. 

A suite of fieldwork services can be procured including:

  • geophysical survey
  • geo-archaeological predictive boreholing and deposit modelling
  • trial trenching
  • fieldwalking
  • metal-detecting
  • open area excavation
  • strip, map and sample
  • watching briefs.

A range of specialist services including environmental archaeology, animal bone, human remains, pottery analysis and geo-archaeology can also be obtained.

Commercial Archaeology is fully conversant with the post-excavation and reporting procedures which are undertaken subsequent to the completion of any type of fieldwork investigation. 

Commercial Archaeology ensures that archaeological contractors carry out these procedures in a timely fashion so that reports are ready for clients by crucial submission deadlines whether to accompany a planning application or to discharge a planning condition. 

In-house QA and editing capabilities also mean that client reports are fit for purpose and will not result in unnecessary delays.