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Archaeological excavation of an open area is usually carried out on sites that are thought to be particularly significant. For such sites, it is important as much information as possible is accurately recorded. This approach usually follows an earlier investigation, often by Evaluation, Geophysical Survey or Desk Based Assessment, which has identified an archaeological potential that can only be mitigated by excavation.

Most archaeological excavations follow a carefully planned research design and a method statement agreed with the local planning authourity and other appropriate agencies (e.g. English Heritage). The research design is usually presented as part of a written scheme of investigation

Archaeology South-East offers an efficient and professional approach to excavation, which makes the development process as easy as possible for our clients. Our extensive experience allows us to offer the best solution for all parties and extracts the most information possible by ensuring that resources are used in the most effective way.

ASE field staff discussing excavation strategy and interpretation

Excavation Process

Archaeology South-East is able to take control of the excavation right from an initial inquiry or research question through the preparation and planning stages and onto the execution of fieldwork itself. This process is overseen by one of our Project Managers, all of whom come from a background of directing large and complex archaeological sites and have a good understanding of how development and archaeological issues can be resolved. The excavation itself will be carried out under the direction of one of our Senior Archaeologists who are themselves very experienced archaeologists and will direct the site team of Archaeologists. We employ an integrated approach to excavation, ensuring that our Survey and Geomatics Department is fully involved from the outside, utilising the latest survey techniques and equipment to quickly and accurate record the site. Throughout the excavation, we liaise closely with the relevant English Heritage or County Council Archaeological Monitors with whom we are well respected and have built a good, professional relationship over recent years.

Following the fieldwork, our Post Excavation team take over. Under the direction of the Post Excavation Manager, they are responsible for ensuring that any artefacts or samples recovered are subject to correct specialist analysis and that the site is written up to our high standards. The Post Excavation Manager will ensure that the reporting is at a sufficient level to satisfy any planning conditions and / or address research questions. Often, excavations will require publication in a County Journal or for larger, more significant sites, a stand-alone monograph.

 Excavations along the route of a pipeline in the Isle of Grain, Kent

Site Diversity and Approaches

Archaeology South-East is able to carry out excavations on a wide range of sites. These include complex, deeply stratified urban excavations and large scale rural landscapes, such as are associated with the extensive housing developments in southern England.

Recent examples of our work include:

8 seasons of excavation totalling 7.5ha in advance of housing development of a Bronze Age and Iron Age landscape at Brisley Farm, Ashford, Kent.
A Roman enclosure at Spencers Wood, Berkshire.
Complex medieval urban sites at Ropetackle, Shoreham and at the Asda site in Crawley.
Snodland High Street.
Isle of Grain, Kent.
Belmarsh Prison, Greater London
Lewes House residential development, Lewes, East Sussex.

Contact: Darryl Palmer



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Sample Excavation Projects

• Spencers Wood.
• Barcome Roman Villa.
• Baxter's Printworks, Lewes.
• Lewes House Residential.
• Lewes House Library.
• Keymer Avenue and Seaview Avenue, Peacehaven.
• Eastbourne College of Arts and Technology.
• St. Thomas' C.E. Primary School, Winchelsea.
• Martell's Quarry, Ardleigh.
• 84 London Road, Kingston-upon-Thames.
• Brisley Farm, Ashford.
• Bradstow School, Broadstairs.
• Highstead Farm Quarry, Canterbury.
• Kingsnorth Power Station, Isle of Grain.
• Snodland High Street.
• Coldharbour Quarry, Thorpe.
• Hawks Hill House, Leatherhead.
• Long Grove Road, Epsom.
• Roundstone Lane, Angmering.
• 60 High Street, Crawley.
• Beedings, Pulborough.
• Bolnore Village, Haywards Heath.
• Manor Cottage, Southwick.
• Ropetackle, Shoreham-by-sea.
• St Nicolas Church, Shoreham-by-sea.

  Archaeology South-East - Units 1 & 2 - 2 Chapel Place - Portslade, Brighton - East Sussex - BN41 1DR
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