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.
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.
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
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
• 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.