Home Estandares metodológicos Generalidades Standard and Guidance for archaeological field evaluation
Standard and Guidance for archaeological field evaluation PDF Imprimir E-mail
Escrito por Institue of Field Archæologists   
Martes, 17 de Julio de 2007 15:41
The standard and guidance for archaeological field evaluation was formally adopted as IFA approved practice at the Annual General Meeting of the Institute held on 14 October 1994.

The Standard
An archaeological field evaluation will determine, as far as is reasonably possible, the nature of the archaeological resource within a specified area using appropriate methods and practices. These will satisfy the stated aims of the project, and comply with the Code of conduct, Code of approved practice for the regulation of contractual arrangements in field archaeology, and other relevant by-laws of the IFA.

Definition of field evaluation

The definition of archaeological field evaluation is a limited programme of non-intrusive and/or intrusive fieldwork which determines the presence or absence of archaeological features, structures, deposits, artefacts or ecofacts within a specified area or site on land, inter-tidal zone or underwater. If such archaeological remains are present field evaluation defines their character, extent, quality and preservation, and enables an assessment of their worth in a local, regional, national or international context as appropriate.

Purpose of field evaluation
The purpose of field evaluation is to gain information about the archaeological resource within a given area or site (including its presence or absence, character, extent, date, integrity, state of preservation and quality), in order to make an assessment of its merit in the appropriate context, leading to one or more of the following:
  • the formulation of a strategy to ensure the recording, preservation or management of the resource
  • the formulation of a strategy to mitigate a threat to the archaeological resource
  • the formulation of a proposal for further archaeological investigation within a programme of research
A field evaluation may arise:
  • in response to a proposed development which threatens the archaeological resource
  • as part of the planning process (within the framework of appropriate national planning policy guidance notes and/or development plan policy)
  • as part of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) (see 3.1.7 below)
  • outside the planning process (eg ecclesiastical development, coastal erosion, agriculture, forestry and countryside management, works by public utilities and statutory undertakers)
  • within a programme of research not generated by a specific threat to the archaeological resource
  • in connection with the preparation of management plans by private, local or national and international bodies
An archaeological field evaluation may therefore be instigated or commissioned by a number of different individuals or organisations, including local planning authorities, national advisory bodies, government agencies, private landowners, developers or their agents, archaeological researchers, etc.


1 Introduction

This guidance seeks to define best practice for the execution of field evaluation and concomitant reporting, in line with the bylaws of the IFA; in particular the Code of conduct and Code of approved practice for the regulation of contractual arrangements in field archaeology. It seeks to expand and explain general definitions in the Codes for the practice of fieldwork and reporting.

1.2 The Standard and guidance apply to all types of preliminary field investigations (land-based, inter-tidal and underwater) whether generated by academic research, by local interest, through the planning process, by management proposals or by any other proposals which may affect the archaeological resource within a specified area.

1.3 In addition, the guidance seeks to amplify directions given in appropriate national planning policy guidelines (see Appendix 6), and be compatible with current guidelines issued by regulatory authorities.

1.4 The terminology used primarily follows PPG 16, PPG 15, PG (Wales) as amended, WO circular 60/96, WO circular 61/96, PPS6, NPPG5 and guidance issued by the Association of County Archaeological Officers (ACAO 1993), English Heritage (1991) and Historic Scotland (1996a) with amplifications where necessary. It also seeks to take account of differences in terminology, legal and administrative practice in different parts of the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man. A glossary of terms used can be found in Appendix 1.

1.5 This document provides guidance for work carried out within the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man. Although general guidance is given, this document cannot be exhaustive, particularly in its treatment of legislative issues. Archaeologists must ensure they are familiar with the specific legislation and common law pertinent to the area Isle of Man in which they are working. Archaeologists, commissioning bodies and others may find it useful to consult the relevant documents listed in Appendix 6, and can obtain further guidance from the appropriate advisory bodies listed in Appendix 7.

2 Principles: The Code of conduct and other by-laws of the IFA

2.1 An archaeologist undertaking a field evaluation must adhere to the five major principles enshrined in the IFA Code of conduct, and the rules governing those principles.
  1. The archaeologist shall adhere to the highest standards of ethical and responsible behaviour in the conduct of archaeological affairs.
  2. The archaeologist has a responsibility for the conservation of the archaeological heritage.
  3. The archaeologist shall conduct his or her work in such a way that reliable information about the past may be acquired, and shall ensure that the results be properly recorded.
  4. The archaeologist has the responsibility for making available the results of archaeological work with reasonable dispatch.
  5. The archaeologist shall recognise the aspirations of employees, colleagues and helpers with regard to all matters relating to employment, including career development, health and safety, terms and conditions of employment and equality of opportunity.
2.2 Further, the Code of approved practice for the regulation of contractual arrangements in field archaeology specifically addresses professional conduct in situations where work is sponsored or commissioned on a contractual basis, especially as part of development controlled by the planning process. It provides guidance on professional behaviour where more than one individual or body is competing for the same work, and seeks to ensure that the terms for all work are clearly defined, normally by contract.

3 Procedures

3.1 Project identification
3.1.1 Within the planning framework in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man the desirability of preservation of archaeological deposits is a material consideration, and consequently ‘developers and local authorities should take into account archaeological considerations and deal with them from the beginning of the development control process’ (PPG 16 para 18, WO circular 60/96 para 10, NPPG 5 para 14, PPS 6 para 3.4).

3.1.2 As the desirability of preservation of archaeological remains is a material consideration in the planning process, local authorities can reasonably request an applicant to provide further information on archaeological matters so that ‘an informed and reasonable planning decision can be taken’ (PPG 16 para 21, PPG 15 para 2.11, 2.15, 2.17 and 3.23, WO circular 60/96 para 14, PAN 42 para 24, PPS 6 para 3.13).

3.1.3 Within the planning framework an appraisal (Appendix 1 for definition) of the proposal area will be carried out to determine whether further information is required. This will normally have been undertaken by the planning archaeologist or curator (eg county, district or council archaeological officer), but may also have been carried out by the applicant or their agent.

3.1.4 On occasion it may be deemed sufficient to carry out desk-based assessments, in order to provide information to make an
informed and reasonable decision; on other occasions it will not. Under this guidance, requests for field evaluation will generally be made by the planning archaeologist or curator.

3.1.5 A field evaluation may be commissioned in advance of submission of a planning application by the applicants or through their agents. It is appropriate in these circumstances for proposals for field evaluation to be agreed with the planning archaeologist in advance of intrusive fieldwork, so that the archaeological resource is not needlessly disturbed or damaged, or inappropriate or excessive cost incurred. In such circumstances matters of confidentiality will need to be carefully reviewed by all parties involved. The planning archaeologist may also be able to offer advice to applicants on project design, should the applicants be unfamiliar with archaeological matters.

3.1.6 Certain developments fall within special regulations or statute differing from the standard planning process (eg some projects initiated by public utilities, statutory undertakers, Crown Commissioners, Ministry of Defence etc). Certain of these organisations subscribe to codes of practice (eg water companies) or agreements (formal or informal) with the lead national archaeological bodies to take into consideration the effects of development proposals on the archaeological resource.

3.1.7 Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) applies to projects potentially having significant environmental effect (as defined in EC Directive 85/337, and as implemented in the UK via the various Statutory Instruments etc). It requires a systematic analysis of such effects before a decision to permit the project is taken. Developers are required to provide information for the deciding agency to consider in the decision-making process, and further give bodies with relevant environmental responsibilities
an opportunity to comment before consent is given. EIA is mandatory in relation to certain projects, and may be extended to others. Appraisal and desk-based assessments of the archaeological element must form part of EIA and field evaluation may also be required (see Appendix 1 for definitions).

3.1.8 In EIA projects field evaluation is usually initiated by the developers or through their advisors, rather than the local planning authority.

3.1.9 In a research context, the area for potential investigation or study for field evaluation will have been identified and selected by an archaeologist based on specific aspects or themes relating to their own defined research interests. This could include work undertaken through universities, central government agencies, local authorities, museums, independent trusts, private companies, groups or individuals.

3.1.10 Management proposals by private landowners or others may also result in field evaluation, to obtain information in order to enhance or protect the environmental or archaeological resource.

3.1.11 However it arises an archaeologist should only undertake a field evaluation which is governed by a written specification or project design (see Appendices 2 and 3), agreed by all relevant parties as this is the tool against which performance, fitness for purpose, and hence achievement of standards, can be measured. In Northern Ireland if an evaluation involves excavation a qualified archaeologist must obtain a licence to undertake work from the EHS.

3.1.12 The specification or project design is therefore of critical importance.

3.2 Briefs/project outlines, specifications and project designs
3.2.1 The planning and preparation stage of any project is key to its success. This section addresses the initial design stages of a field evaluation, after the appraisal has determined the need for further work, in whatever circumstances.

3.2.2 A brief (or project outline in Scotland) is an outline of the circumstances to be addressed, with an indication of the scope of works that will be required (IFA Code of approved practice for the regulation of contractual arrangements in field archaeology, ACAO 1993 Appendix D, 14–15; Historic Scotland 1996a, 2–6). It does not provide sufficient detail to form the basis for a measurable standard; but it could form the basis for a specification or a project design.

3.2.3 A specification sets out a schedule of work in sufficient detail for it to be quantifiable, implemented and monitored (ACAO 1993 Appendix D, 15). It should be sufficient to form the basis for a measurable standard.

3.2.4 A project design also sets out a schedule of works in sufficient detail for the work undertaken to be quantifiable, implemented and monitored, and therefore also forms the basis for a measurable standard. However, a project design may include additional information which covers contractual details such as staffing levels or cost relevant to the commissioning but not necessarily the monitoring body. A project design may be prepared in response to a brief/project outline or specification; or it may be a research proposal independent of the planning framework (see Appendix 3, English Heritage 1991 Appendix 2, Historic Scotland 1996a, 7).

3.2.5 A brief/project outline or a specification may form the basis for a project design. For a field evaluation within the planning framework, the brief/project outline or specification will usually be prepared by the planning archaeologist or curator and issued by the commissioning body, the developers or their agents, to selected tenderers. The brief/project outline or a specification may be prepared by the applicants or their agents, but it is essential that the planning archaeologist has agreed the proposals so that they have been accepted as ‘fit for purpose’.

3.2.6 Briefs/project outlines, specifications and project designs must be prepared by suitably qualified and experienced persons, utilising specialist advice where necessary.

3.2.7 In the case of EIA, the brief/project outline or specification will usually be prepared by the developers or their agents, and issued to tenderers. This may also apply to management proposals.

3.2.8 Proposals for field evaluation not prompted by a threat to potential archaeological remains will normally take the form of a project design, prepared by the researching archaeologist, and agreed with any commissioning body. If there is no external commissioner there must nevertheless be a written design so that the validity of any models or questions posed can be properly assessed, or so that legal requirements (eg Scheduled Monument Consent) can be properly applied.

3.2.9 A field evaluation should not take place on the basis of a brief/project outline alone, as it could not achieve the appropriate standard, there being nothing to measure performance against.

3.2.10 The specification or project design must be expressed in sufficiently robust terms and in sufficient detail to withstand challenges on archaeological or legal grounds.

3.2.11 In preparing a specification or a project design an archaeologist must give full consideration to all available practicable methods of evaluation (Annex 1), and decide upon the most appropriate and best available to meet the purpose of the work, seeking specialist advice where necessary. An archaeologist preparing a specification or project design must examine all appropriate sources, be fully apprised of all relevant legislation, and abide by it.

3.2.12 The archaeologist must be mindful that the purpose of evaluation is to determine the presence, or not, of archaeological deposits and to assess their nature, extent etc, and must not unnecessarily interfere with archaeological remains. The archaeologist must make every effort to ensure that field evaluation is minimally intrusive and minimally destructive to archaeological remains in both the design and execution of work.

3.2.13 The project design should include an agreed collection and disposal strategy for artefacts and ecofacts (see also 3.3.8).

3.2.14 It follows that some evaluation projects may be properly terminated (as long as the resource is left in a stable condition) before the project design is fulfilled, when some master criterion is met, such as recognition of a significant constraint rendering the proposed development impractical. In such circumstances, the archaeologist should inform the relevant bodies and seek to ensure that appropriate management measures are taken (see also 3.3.1).

3.2.15 The specification or project design must be suited to the project under consideration; any methods advocated must reflect the nature of archaeological remains likely to be found and should not become inflexible irrespective of site. Other considerations include ‘reasonableness’ in relation to scale of threat, presence of buildings, land use, value for money etc.

3.2.16 When preparing a specification or project design consideration should be given to the need to include appropriate contingency arrangements with respect to field procedures and thus often resourcing. In many cases it may prove impossible to conserve the resource and/or to meet the project objectives without a reasonable degree of flexibility to apply professional judgement in the field. Commissioners and curators should be advised that overly rigid requirements might unavoidably result in a failure to meet archaeological and non-archaeological objectives. Contingency arrangements should not be openended but should be properly specified in their own right as a function of prior knowledge of the site, the physical context of the site and the primary objectives of the field evaluation. Contractors must be in a position to justify in detail the eventual implementation of contingency arrangements. The principle of BATNEEC (best available technique not entailing excessive cost), as enshrined in EA guidance, should be used.

3.2.17 The specification or project design should contain, as a minimum, the following elements:
  • non-technical summary
  • site location (including map) and descriptions
  • context of the project
  • geological and topographical background
  • archaeological and historical background
  • general and specific aims of fieldwork
  • reference to relevant legislation
  • field methodology
  • collection and disposal strategy for artefacts and ecofacts
  • arrangements for immediate conservation of artefacts
  • post-fieldwork methodology
  • report preparation (method)
  • publication and dissemination proposals
  • copyright
  • archive deposition
  • timetable
  • staffing
  • Health and Safety considerations
  • monitoring procedures
  • contingency arrangements (if appropriate).
3.2.18 The contents and different weighting of detail between specification and/or project design are amplified in Appendices 2 and 3. Briefs/project outlines and specifications are also discussed in detail in ACAO (1993) and Historic Scotland (1996a).

An archaeologist responding to a tender which includes a brief/project outline or specification may refer to these elements in the project design, taking care to include sufficient detail.

3.2.20 In all cases, the local archaeological curator (and where appropriate, the national agency curator) must be informed of fieldwork in his or her area. Unless there are overriding reasons against it, local archaeological societies etc should be informed of fieldwork.

3.2.21 The specification or project design should identify relevant data standards for record organisation and content that will be used in information recording systems employed by the project.

3.3 Fieldwork
3.3.1 The specification or project design must be agreed by all relevant parties before work commences. All work must conform to the agreed specification or project design. Any variations must be agreed in writing by all relevant parties.

3.3.2 Sufficient and appropriate resources (staff, equipment, accommodation etc) must be used to enable the project to be completed successfully, within the timetable, to an acceptable standard, and comply with all statutory requirements. Any contingency elements must be clearly identified and justified. It is the role of the archaeologist undertaking the work to define appropriate staff levels.

3.3.3 All techniques used must comply with relevant legislation and be demonstrably fit for the defined purpose(s).

3.3.4 All staff, including subcontractors, must be suitably qualified and experienced for their project roles, and employed in line with relevant legislation and IFA by-laws (see Appendix 6). The site director and/or manager should preferably be a corporate member of the IFA.

3.3.5 All staff, including subcontractors, must be fully briefed and aware of the work required under the specification, and must understand the aims and methodologies of the project.

3.3.6 All equipment must be suitable for its designated purpose and in sound condition, complying with Health and Safety Executive regulations and recommendations. It should be noted that some items of equipment are subject to specific statutory controls (diving equipment in particular is subject to the Diving Operations at Work Regulations (see Appendix 6)).

3.3.7 Full and proper records (written, graphic, electronic, and photographic as appropriate) should be made for all work, using pro forma record forms and sheets as applicable. Digital records created as part of the project should comply with specified data standards. An archaeologist must ensure that digital information, paper and photographic records should be stored in a secure and appropriate environment, and be regularly copied or backed up, and copies stored in a separate location.

3.3.8 Artefact and environmental data collection and discard policies, strategies and techniques must be fit for the defined purpose, and understood by all staff and subcontractors (see also IFA Standard and guidance for the collection, documentation, conservation and research of archaeological materials, IFA Finds Group 1992, Historic Scotland 1994).

3.3.9 Health and Safety regulations and requirements cannot be ignored no matter how imperative the need to record archaeological information; hence Health and Safety will take priority over archaeological matters. All archaeologists undertaking fieldwork must do so under a defined Health and Safety Policy. Archaeologists undertaking fieldwork must observe safe working practices; the Health and Safety arrangements must be agreed and understood by all relevant parties before work commences. Risk assessments must be carried out and documented for every field project, in accordance with the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992. Archaeologists should determine whether field projects are covered by Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994, and ensure that they meet all requirements under the regulations. In addition they must liaise closely with the principal contractor and comply with specified site rules. Archaeologists are advised to note the onerous responsibilities of the role of a planning supervisor. For further guidance refer to the bibliography (Appendix 6).

3.3.10 The archaeologist undertaking a field evaluation must ensure that he or she has adequate insurance policies, public and employer’s liability, and some relevant form of civil liability indemnity or professional liability.

3.4 Post-fieldwork analyses and reports
3.4.1 All assessment and analytical work must be carried out by suitably qualified and experienced staff, who must be apprised of the project design before commencing work.

3.4.2 The level of recording and analysis of artefacts and ecofacts should be appropriate to the aims and purpose of the project.

3.4.3 All data generated as a result of assessment and/or analysis should be included in the project archive.

3.4.4 All reports must address the aims and purposes of the project design and/or specification.

3.4.5 All reports should be written in a clear, concise and logical style and technical terms should be explained. Consideration should be given during the preparation of the report to the requirements of public inquiries or courts of law if appropriate.

3.4.6 As a minimum, a site summary (see English Heritage 1991) or data structure report (see Appendix 1 and Historic Scotland 1996a) should be submitted to the appropriate Sites and Monuments Record, the National Archaeological Record and, where appropriate, the central government conservation organisation within six months of completion of the fieldwork or earlier, as may be specified by contractual or grant conditions. In Scotland, a summary interim report must be published in an annual, regional or national digest of fieldwork (Historic Scotland 1996f, 2). For the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man
as a whole, it is considered that fuller publication of the majority of projects is required.

3.4.7 In Scotland the primary product of fieldwork is the data structure report (see Appendix 1 and Historic Scotland 1996b) with a costed assessment or project design for further fieldwork and/or post-excavation and publication. This report does not have a precise equivalent elsewhere in the United Kingdom (see Appendix 1). Copies of the data structure report should be lodged with the local archaeological curator.

3.4.8 Reports should not include recommendations unless required by the planning archaeologist or the specification and/or project design. However, it would be reasonable for a client to seek independently the opinion of archaeological contractors. Contractors should have regard as to whether the provision of such advice is a contractual requirement and the legal implications thereof.

3.4.9 Reports should contain as a minimum:
  • non-technical summary
  • introductory statements
  • aims and purpose of the evaluation
  • methodology
  • an objective summary statement of results
  • conclusion, including a confidence rating
  • supporting illustrations at appropriate scales
  • supporting data, tabulated or in appendices, including as a minimum a basic quantification of all artefacts and ecofacts (number and weight), and structural data
  • index to and location of archive
  • references
The contents are discussed in more detail in Annex 2.

3.4.10 Where the project is carried out within the planning process, the report must contain sufficient objective data to enable ‘an informed and reasonable decision to be made’ (PPG 16 para 21). Further guidance on this is contained in ACAO (1993).

3.4.11 Subject to any contractual requirements on confidentiality, copies of the report must be submitted to the appropriate county Sites and Monuments Record within six months of completion of the report.

3.5 Monitoring
3.5.1 All work must be monitored by the archaeological organisation undertaking the project and if appropriate by the national conservation agencies, planning archaeologist and commissioning body, or their nominated representatives. The guidance below is directed in general at monitors from outside the organisation undertaking the work, but many of the points apply equally to internal monitors or managers.

3.5.2 A monitor should be suitably experienced and qualified, or have access to appropriate specialist advice.

3.5.3 Monitoring must be undertaken against the written specification and/or project design.

3.5.4 Monitors, where they are not representing the commissioning body, should bear in mind the need for flexibility, within the stated parameters, in contractual matters such as staff numbers, budgets or timetable.

3.5.5 All monitoring visits must be documented, and agreed by each party.

Non-compliance with the agreed specification or project design must be pointed out by the monitor to the archaeologist undertaking the work, and their client if appropriate, at the earliest opportunity (see ACAO 1993 Appendix E, 17).

3.5.7 Monitors should be aware of their professional duties regarding Health and Safety, in particular advising against and reporting on bad and unsafe practice.

3.5.8 All monitoring arrangements must be agreed at the outset of the project; the archaeologist undertaking fieldwork must inform the planning archaeologist or other monitor of the commencement of work with reasonable notice.

3.5.9 Although monitors may choose to visit at any time, they should normally inform the archaeologist undertaking the work of any intended visits in advance. Monitors must respect reasonable requests from the client commissioning the work to attend only at prearranged times and, if necessary, in the company of the client’s representative.

3.5.10 Any costs for monitoring to be charged by the planning archaeologist or other monitor must be agreed in writing at the outset of the project.

3.6 Archives, ownership and deposition
3.6.1 The requirements for archive preparation and deposition must be addressed at the outset of the project. In Scotland, all fieldwork archives must be deposited in the National Monuments Record for Scotland, which will arrange to copy material to local museums etc.

3.6.2 The proposed recipient museum or other repository must be contacted at the project planning stage, and arrangements for the deposition of the project archive should be detailed in the specification and/or project design.

3.6.3 The archive, including all retained artefacts and ecofacts, must be treated and packaged in accordance with the requirements of the recipient museum/repository and national guidelines (Museums and Galleries Commission 1992, Society of Museum Archaeologists 1992, UKIC 1983, 1984, 1988 and 1990, Ferguson and Murray 1997). The treatment of human remains is governed by the relevant legislation and government regulations (see Historic Scotland 1997a).

3.6.4 In England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man ownership of objects rests with the landowner, except where other law overrides this (eg Treasure Act 1996, Burials Act 1857). The archaeologist undertaking the fieldwork or the planning archaeologist must make this clear at the inception of the project (in the brief/project outline, specification or project design).

3.6.5 It should be noted that different countries have, inter alia, differing reporting procedures for Treasure and differing requirements for finds deposition. Material cannot be exported from the Isle of Man without a licence. In Scotland all finds of archaeological objects must be reported to the Crown, normally via the Treasure Trove Advisory Panel or the Finds Disposal Panel. Archaeologists are advised to seek specific advice on excavation and export procedures as in some instances licences are required (see Appendix 7).

3.6.6 Except in Scotland, it is the responsibility of the archaeologist undertaking the fieldwork to endeavour to obtain the written consent of the landowner for finds donation and deposition with the recipient museum.

3.6.7 Except in Scotland, in the event that the landowner is unwilling, for whatever reason, to donate the finds to the appropriate recipient museum, the archaeologist undertaking the fieldwork must endeavour to ensure all artefacts and ecofacts are recorded, safely packaged and conserved where appropriate before transfer to the owner, and that their location and ownership are stated in the site archive and public record. It should be noted that the owner’s explicit (written) permission is required before entering such personal information in the public record (see inter alia the Data Protection Act 1984).

3.6.8 In Scotland all archaeological artefacts, irrespective of raw material, may be claimed on behalf of the Crown under common law. This applies no matter where, or on whose property, artefacts are found. As noted in paragraph 3.5.3 of the IFA Standard and guidance for the collection, documentation, conservation and research of archaeological materials, all finds must be reported to the Treasure Trove Advisory Panel or, in the case of artefacts from fieldwork funded by Historic Scotland, to the Finds Disposal Panel. Ownership in either case is passed to the museum which receives the finds at the end of the allocation process.

3.6.9 The rules of ownership applicable to material which has come from a vessel (ie all those classified as ‘wreck’) are dealt with under the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 (see Appendix 6). In cases of wreck material the Receiver of Wreck, in the Maritime and Coastguard Agency should be contacted.

3.6.10 Subject to confidentiality arrangements specified for the project, the archaeologist, either during fieldwork or as soon as possible after its conclusion, should prepare a structured description of the project suitable for publication or inclusion in national and local data archives.

3.7 Other considerations
3.7.1 It is advisable for field evaluation projects to be governed by a written contract or agreement to which the specification or project design may be attached. Such contracts or agreements should include reference to the defined area of study outlined on a map; to the brief/project outline, specification or project design (see 3.2); to conditions for access; programme, method and timetable for payment (including any retentions); copyright arrangements; and be signed and dated by all parties (Darvill and Atkins 1991).

3.7.2 It is normal practice for both the copyright and ownership of the paper and digital archive from archaeological work to rest with the originating body (the archaeological organisation undertaking the work). The originating body deposits the material with the recipient museum or repository on completion of the contracted works, and normally transfers title and /or licences the use of the records at this stage. These arrangements may be varied by contract, and for the avoidance of doubt it is advisable to include statements on ownership and copyright in a written contract or agreement.

3.7.3 Material copied or cited in reports should be duly acknowledged, and all copyright conditions (such as those for Ordnance Survey maps and the National Grid) observed.

3.7.4 All aspects of publicity must be agreed at the outset of the project between the commissioning body and the archaeological organisation or individual undertaking the project.

3.7.5 The archaeologist undertaking the work must respect the requirements of the client or commissioning body concerning confidentiality, but the archaeologist must emphasise his or her professional obligation to make the results of archaeological work available to the wider archaeological community within a reasonable time.

Field techniques

There is a wide range of archaeological techniques available for field evaluation. In many instances several techniques may be valid for the requirements of the brief/project outline, and it will be necessary to explain the selection criteria. Wherever possible the first considered option should be for non-destructive survey, though in most instances this will probably not produce the necessary level of confidence in the information gained, nor result in data which can be verified at, for example public inquiry or court of law. The methods selected must be fit for the purpose defined.

This Standard covers the following methods of field evaluation:
a) Non-destructive
  • geophysical survey
  • remote sensing
  • geochemical survey
  • earthwork survey
  • field scanning (ie observation and mapping of artefact and other distributions, but not collection of artefacts)
  • standing building survey
b) Destructive Methods (of varying destructive potential)
  • augering
  • hand-excavated test pits
  • hand-excavated trenches
  • machine-stripped and manually excavated test pits
  • machine-stripped and manually excavated trenches
  • probing (frequently used underwater)
  • surface artefact collection: fieldwalking for collection as opposed to scanning.
This method is destructive as it removes part or all of the archaeological resource, although that resource has generally moved from its depositional context. Selective collection will bias both the remaining resource and the collected data and is not recommended.
  • Methods such as prop wash and explosives (used occasionally for underwater exploration) are not generally acceptable.
Further information on selection of techniques is set out in ACAO (1993). For guidance on underwater evaluation techniques see Oxley (forthcoming).

Report contents

The specific requirements of any report will necessarily vary according to the scope of works, the nature of the results or other factors. However, the following sections will occur in most reports:

Non-technical summary
This should outline in plain, non-technical language the principal reason for the work, its objectives and main results. It should include reference to authorship and commissioning body.
Introductory statements
These could include acknowledgements, circumstances of the project such as planning background, the archaeological background, an outline nature of work, the site description (including size, geology and topography, location), when the project was undertaken and by whom.
Aims and objectives
These should reflect or reiterate the aims set of in the project design or specification.

The methods used, including the detail of any variation to the agreed project design or specification should be set out carefully, and explained as appropriate.
These should be set out as a series of summary objective statements, organised clearly in relation to the methods used, and describing both structural data and associated finds and/or environmental data recovered. Descriptive material should be clearly separated from interpretative statements. Technical terminology (including dating or period references) should be explained where necessary if the report is aimed at a largely non-archaeological audience. The results should be amplified by the use of drawings and photographs; and by supporting data contained in appendices (see below).
It is appropriate to include a section which sums up and interprets the results and puts them into context (local, national or otherwise). Other elements should include a confidence rating on techniques used, or on limitations imposed by particular factors (eg weather or problems of access). Recommendations on further work may also be required, but in most circumstances within the planning framework this will be the responsibility of the relevant planning archaeologist or curator.
Archive location
The final destination of the archive (records and finds) should be noted in the report.
These should contain essential technical and supporting detail, including for example lists of artefacts and contexts or details of measurements, gazetteers etc.
Most reports will need the inclusion of one or more illustrations for clarity; as a minimum a location plan should be included. Any plans or sections should be clearly numbered, easily referenced to the National Grid and related to the specified area.
References and bibliography
A list of all sources used should be appended to the report, including electronic sources.
Contents list, disclaimers.

Contents of a data structure report

A data structure report is a requirement in Scotland. Its contents arelisted here for guidance.
The level of detail required will depend on the quantity and complexity of data.

A data structure report should be produced speedily after each fieldwork exercise or season of fieldwork. It provides a structure for the records of an excavation, and is the basis for further analysis and final archiving of the site archive. It includes:

1 Lists of data
  • context numbers with brief descriptions
  • other written documents
  • plans, sections and other illustrations
  • photographs (annotated)
  • small finds lists, with context numbers and brief descriptions of important objects
This list is copied to the Queen’s and Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer, forming the basis for allocating finds to a museum with a description and explanation of why environmental archaeology samples were taken.

2 A narrative account of the site sequence explaining
  • the relationship between groups of contexts
  • important finds
  • provisional interpretations
  • sequence diagrams, sketch plans and other diagrams as required
In Scotland, the data structure report is accompanied by a site summary intended for publication in Discovery and excavation in Scotland published by the Council for Scottish Archaeology. For further information see Historic Scotland (1996a, 9).

Recommendations for digital archives

Projects vary in their organisation and implementation, even where standards and best practice are employed. This annexe thus provides a checklist for the types of data to be included in the digital archive of a field evaluation. Where those data do not exist they need not be created. Where they are not available in digital format, they need not be digitised. The archive has two components: the minimum archive is the index level record; with other materials as appropriate. Thus, the archive should consist of:
1. Index level record
An index level record for the investigation conforming to relevant standards. The exact content and structure of that record should be developed in consultation with relevant heritage agencies and identified in the project design. Local circumstances will dictate form of delivery though digital supply should be preferred, in order that the record may be appended to existing databases without the need for manual data entry.
2. Other associated data sets
Other associated data sets as identified in the project design, such as a project specification document, project design document and deskbased assessment report may be included in the archive, and a field evaluation report. Data structure reports, plans, context records, photographs, lists of finds and geo-physical records should be supplied if available in digital format. The precise composition of the archive will vary with local circumstances.

Data creation
All data created as part of a project design should follow standards and guidelines for good practice. Data that is being deposited in a digital archive and should be supplied in a form consistent with that archive’s deposition guidelines.

Further guidance on the management and archiving of digital data can be obtained from the Archaeology Data Service, summarised in part in the Guide to Good Practices series. “Digital Archives from Excavation and Fieldwork: Guide to Good Practice” is the most immediately relevant volume for field evaluation, though others may be more appropriate to the needs of specific projects. Contact details for the Archaeology Data Service are included in Appendix 7.

Generals appendices to standards (1 to 7) can be downloaded form our server [PDF] (in english).
Última actualización el Martes, 15 de Septiembre de 2009 04:10


#2 ApéndicesGaëtan Juillard 20-07-2007 15:09
Hola Arcaico,
Los apéndices generales de los estandares del Institue of Field Archæologists pueden ser descargados directamente en PDF al final de las entradas correspondientes.
#1 consultaarcaico 19-07-2007 13:25
Sería posible conseguir los apéndices 6 y 7 que no asoman al final del documento?

Escribir un comentario

Código de seguridad

^  top