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Standard and Guidance for an Archæological watching brief PDF Imprimir E-mail
Escrito por Institute of Field Archaeologists   
Martes, 24 de Julio de 2007 21:58
The standard and guidance for an archaeological watching brief was formally adopted as IFA approved practice at the Annual General Meeting of the Institute held on 14 October 1994. Revised September 2001.

The Standard
An archaeological watching brief will record the archaeological resource during development 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 an archaeological watching brief
The definition of an archaeological watching brief is a formal programme of observation and investigation conducted during any operation carried out for non-archaeological reasons. This will be within a specified area or site on land, inter-tidal zone or
underwater, where there is a possibility that archaeological deposits may be disturbed or destroyed. The programme will result in the preparation of a report and ordered archive. This definition and Standard do not cover chance observations, which should lead to an appropriate archaeological project being designed and implemented, nor do they apply to monitoring for
preservation of remains in situ.

Purpose of a watching brief
The purpose of a watching brief is:
  • to allow, within the resources available, the preservation by record of archaeological deposits, the presence and nature of which could not be established (or established with sufficient accuracy) in advance of development or other potentially disruptive works
  • to provide an opportunity, if needed, for the watching archaeologist to signal to all interested parties, before the destruction of the material in question, that an archaeological find has been made for which the resources allocated to the watching brief itself are not sufficient to support treatment to a satisfactory and proper standard
A watching brief is not intended to reduce the requirement for excavation or preservation of known or inferred deposits, and it is intended to guide, not replace, any requirement for contingent excavation or preservation of possible deposits.

The objective of a watching brief is to establish and make available information about the archaeological resource existing on a site.

A watching brief may arise:
  • in response to a 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 3.1.4 below)
  • outside the planning process (eg ecclesiastical development, coastal erosion, agriculture, forestry and countryside management, works by public utilities and statutory undertakers)
A watching brief 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.


1 Introduction

1.1 This guidance seeks to define best practice for the execution of a watching brief 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 actual practice of fieldwork and reporting.

1.2 The Standard and guidance apply to watching briefs (landbased, inter-tidal or underwater) whether generated 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 that 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, PPS 6, NPPG 5 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 in 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 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 bylaws of the IFA

2.1 An archaeologist undertaking archaeological watching briefs must adhere to the five principles enshrined in the Institute of Field Archaeologist’s 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 and conditions 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 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 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 paras 2.11, 2.15, 2.17 and 3.23, WO circular 60/96 para 14, PAN 42 para 24, PPS 6 para 3.13). Under this guidance a watching brief will normally be attached as a condition of consent or form part of a scheme of investigation devised by an applicant to satisfy a negative condition in instances where other forms of action would not be appropriate for the identified or potential archaeological resource.

3.1.3 Certain developments fall within special regulations or statute differing from or additional to 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.

3.1.4 Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) applies to projects potentially having significant environmental effects (EC Directive 85/337, and as implemented in the UK via various Statutory Instruments etc). EIA involves appraisal, desk-based assessments and in many instances field evaluation. The resulting Environmental Statement (ES) will contain recommendations for mitigating impact on the archaeological resource. The agreed mitigation strategies may include an archaeological watching brief.

3.1.5 However it arises, an archaeologist should only undertake watching briefs which are 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.

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

3.2 Briefs/project outlines, specifications and project designs
3.2.1 The planning stage of any project is key to its success. This section addresses the initial design stages of a watching brief, 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 1996b, 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 1996b, 7).

3.2.5 A brief/project outline or a specification may form the basis for a project design. For watching briefs 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 applicant or their agent, 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 An archaeologist shall only undertake a watching brief, which is governed by a written and agreed specification or project design prepared in advance of work commencing. The specification or project design must identify the objectives, scope, geographical area, and means of dissemination of the results of the watching brief, and incorporate a method statement and work programme. The specification or project design should conform to the brief/project outline if one has been set, and must in any case be approved in advance by the planning archaeologist or curator.

3.2.8 A watching brief 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.

3.2.9 In preparing a specification or project design for the work, the archaeologist shall establish the intention of the work, and the extent to which archaeological considerations will be allowed to affect the development schedule. An archaeologist preparing a specification or project design must examine all appropriate sources, be fully apprised of all relevant legislation, and abide by it.

3.2.10 The specification or project design must be expressed in sufficiently robust terms and in sufficient detail to withstand challenges on archaeological or legal grounds. The archaeologist shall establish the scope of the watching brief, whether comprehensive (present during all ground disturbance), intensive (present during sensitive ground disturbance), intermittent (viewing the trenches after machining), or partial (as and when seems appropriate).

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 to resourcing. In many cases it may prove impossible 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 open-ended but should be properly specified in their own right and reflect prior knowledge of the site, the physical context of the site and the primary objectives of the watching brief. Contractors must be in a position to justify in detail the eventual implementation of contingency arrangements.

3.2.12 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
  • arrangement for immediate conservation of artefacts
  • post-fieldwork methodology
  • report preparation (method)
  • publication and dissemination proposals
  • copyright
  • archive deposition
  • timetable
  • staffing
  • Health & Safety considerations
  • monitoring procedures
  • contingency arrangements (if appropriate)
3.2.13 The contents and different weighting of detail between specification and project design contents are further amplified in Appendices 2 and 3. Briefs/project outlines and specifications are also discussed in detail in ACAO (1993) and Historic Scotland (1996a).

3.2.14 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.

3.2.15 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 and/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 achieve its aims, the desired quality and timetable, 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 the purpose and in sound condition and comply with Health and Safety Executive regulations and recommendations. It should be noted that some items of equipment are subject to specific statutory controls requiring compliance (diving equipment in particular is subject to the Diving Operations at Work Regulations (see Appendix 6)).

3.3.7 Sufficient and appropriate resources (staff, equipment, accommodation etc) must be used to enable the project to achieve its aims, the desired quality and timetable, and to 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.

3.3.8 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.

3.3.9 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).

3.3.10 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 planning supervisor. For further guidance refer to the bibliography (Appendix 6).

3.3.11 The archaeologist undertaking a watching brief 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 indemnity.

On arrival on site, the archaeologist should report to the site manager or other identified representative of the principal contractors or developers, and conform to their arrangements for notification of entering and leaving site.

Where the archaeologist has by instruction or agreement the power to suspend development work, he or she shall, in exercising such power, follow procedures previously agreed with the other contractors on the site. Within the constraints of the nature of the archaeological resource, the archaeologist shall not cause unreasonable disruption to the maintenance of the work schedules of other contractors.

An archaeologist should keep a record of the date, time and duration of all visits, the number of staff concerned and any actions taken.

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, and who should understand the work required of them.

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; technical terms should be explained if the report is for a non-archaeological audience. Consideration should be given during the preparation of the report to the requirements of publicinquiries and courts of law if appropriate.

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

3.4.7 As a minimum, a site summary (see English Heritage 1991) or data structure report (see Appendix 1 and Historic Scotland 1996b) 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 and Isle of Man as a whole, it is considered that fuller publication of the majority of projects is required.

3.4.8 In Scotland the primary product of fieldwork is the data structure report (see Appendix 1 and Historic Scotland (1996a)) with a costed assessment or project design for further fieldwork and/or post-excavation and publication. This report form 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.

3.5 Monitoring
3.5.1 All work must be monitored by the archaeological organisation undertaking the project, and if appropriate by the national conservation agency, the 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 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.

3.5.6 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 and moral duties regarding Health and Safety, in particular reporting and advising against 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 excavation 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 will be governed by the relevant legislation and government regulations (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 consent of the landowner in writing 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).

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

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 out 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 statements, organised clearly in relation to the methods used, and describing structural data, 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 where necessary by the use of
drawings and photographs; and by supporting data contained in appendices (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).

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. It may also be appropriate to include the project design or specification for ease of reference.

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 and 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.

Contents list, disclaimers.

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 watching brief. 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 should be included in the digital archive:
  • project specification documents,
  • updated project design documents,
  • desk-based assessment report (where this has not already been archived),
  • field evaluation report (where this has not already been archived),
  • watching brief report (where this has not already been archived),
  • post excavation assessment report,
  • comprehensive excavation report and site matrix,
  • specialist databases,
  • digital images,
  • geo-spatial data sets including any digitised plans and maps.
The precise composition of the archive will vary with local circumstances. For example, existing standards, such as those from English Heritage (see ‘The Management of Archaeological Projects’ 2nd edition 1991 aka ‘MAP2’) may govern the content of the full archive.

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 watching briefs assessment, 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).
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