Evaluation Strategies Stage 1 – understanding current practice and encouraging sector engagement (EVALS1)

Dates: 
2020-2021
Funding body: 
Historic England
Funding amount: 
£36k

This is a project, undertaken in partnership with FAME, to develop and implement strategic improvements in the practice of archaeological field evaluation in England by

  • working with stakeholders to develop and document a shared understanding of current evaluation practice, constraints and goals in the context of the NPPF
  • determining which factors are most important in selecting appropriate and proportionate strategies for archaeological field evaluation in England, with a particular focus on sampling (trial trenching)
  • identifying case studies from a representative range of chronologies, geologies and locations in England, with simple comparisons drawn between what was forecast at evaluation and what was found during subsequent archaeological investigation

The main focus of the project will be on sampling (trial trenching) in advance of minerals extraction, house-building and infrastructure development, where the need for validation and greater consensus on effective and proportionate evaluation strategies is particularly urgent.

Recommendations for a second stage of work (EVALS2) to strengthen the evidence base to support ongoing sector confidence in future advice and continual improvement in archaeological evaluation practice will be made. Building on the research available, this second stage (not currently funded) is also envisaged to include additional, in-depth modelling of alternative evaluation strategies where required.