FAQs about archaeology for developers

This FAQ resource answers many of the common questions we are asked about archaeology in the planning process and commissioning professional archaeologists. However, if you have a specific question please contact us at admin@archaeologists.net and we will be happy to offer further advice.

If you are in the UK, you can contact the archaeological advisor to the planning authority via (ALGAO list) – they will be able to outline you what is expected of you and why. You will almost certainly need to commission your own archaeologist: for advice on how to do this with confidence, see our guides

You want a Registered Organisation or CIfA-accredited professional archaeologist. You may want a consultant to help you commission wisely (depending on the scale of the work). Consultants and service providers can be found here: Looking for an archaeologist?

  • All projects are different. An archaeologist will be able to advise you on costs for your project. Consultants and service providers can be found here: Looking for an archaeologist?

You will have budgeted for archaeology. Is the shortfall in resources due to unforeseen or unforeseeable circumstances, and what does the contract say about contingencies? Understanding this will help you negotiate a way forward with those undertaking the work and those requiring it to be done.

First of all, raise your concerns with your archaeologist. Use any contractual or dispute resolution procedures. If the outcomes are unsatisfactory, you may need to take legal advice.  If you think this might be an issue about unprofessional conduct, you might want to report it to us. Please refer to our professional conduct page for more information.

If you’re in the UK and you are concerned that developers and the planning authority may be unaware of archaeological heritage, contact the planning authority or their archaeological advisor. If they are aware but you feel that heritage may not have been given sufficient weight, make sure you know how you may influence planning decisions. Be aware that planning systems are intended to reach balanced decisions, and that it is often impossible to please everyone. It is very unusual for buried heritage assets to prevent development: frequently the planning system will require archaeological work to offset the loss of the site with a gain in knowledge.

Please refer to our Careers Kit for further information on becoming an archaeologist