Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I have to pay for archaeology and how much does it cost?

Archaeological works have been a part of planning law since 1990. The purpose of archaeological works is to ensure that these irreplaceable remains are not lost to development. Over the last 33 years, thousands of archaeological sites have been recorded ahead of housing, roads and other schemes, which would otherwise have been lost to future generations.

Local planning authorities are therefore obliged to assess each application and judge whether they might disturb buried archaeological sites or significantly alter buildings and request archaeological works where necessary either to support the application or as a condition of approval.

With to regard costs, every project is different with a unique set of constraints and circumstances, however, Ambrey Archaeology provide detailed, reasonable costings to allow you to budget for all circumstances.

What happens if you find human remains?

It is unusual to encounter unexpected human remains in the course of archaeological work, but if this happened best practice guidance would be followed. The remains would initially be left in situ, covered and protected and the local Coroner would have to be informed.

Advice would be sought from the Ministry of Justice as to whether a licence may be required to excavate. Where possible, preservation in situ would be the preferred option.

Any visible grave goods and other obvious artefacts would have to be recorded and removed before the end of the day of discovery, to avoid the risk of vandalism or theft.

Although the process can be complicated, Ambrey Archaeology have the experience to ensure that due process is followed with minimum cost and delay to the client.

What happens if you find treasure?

It’s very rare to find artefacts of any monetary value on archaeological sites but in the event that any artefacts are encountered that would constitute ‘treasure’ (as defined by The Treasure Act, 1996) Ambrey Archaeology would be obliged to report the find to the local Coroner and relevant Finds Liaison Officer.

The treasure would have to be excavated on the same day and removed to a secure site, unless this is impractical, in which case security would be required on site.

What happens if you find a Roman villa?

Prior to carrying out archaeological evaluations and watching briefs, the likelihood of encountering a villa or something equivalent is considered, sometimes with the use of a desk based assessment or geophysical survey, with the purpose of avoiding this outcome.

While it’s unlikely that archaeology of national significance such as a villa will be recorded on your site, it will be stated in the Written Scheme of Investigation that if this was to happen, Ambrey Archaeology would consult with the curator (the LPA’s Archaeological Advisor) and the main contractor as well as the developer.

The remains would have to be recorded to a suitable archaeological standard and may need to be preserved in situ.

However, this is very rare – most archaeology discovered ahead of development can be mitigated by a programme of archaeological works.