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Should an archaeologist recommend a development in the planning application comments
GnomeKing Wrote:- if you want to price an excavation you need an evaluation...

that, my good sire, is HIGHLY debatable > as i have ranted on about several times before ...

> if fact, the original 1994 EU funded review of evaluations as a survey method and 'predictor' for excavations , highlighted problems i have found to be rather common.

>evaluation trenches are poor predictors of a wide range of archaeology, particularly prehistory.

The problem lies in trying to 'cost-it-all-up before' anybody really knows whats there...
Instead of 'the most sophisticated prediction methods', the focus should just be on dealing with what actually exists, using the best methods, and people, appropriate to the task.

There is no way round it - the archaeology is what it is, and there is nothing anybody can do to alter what is already buried, no matter the sophistication of the predictions.

Clients need to be given a price model based on the necessity of addressing whatever (and that is a very long whatever) heritage is there, and the unpredictable nature of any potential archaeology > evaluations help narrow this, and have some other particular uses > but as predictors of 'total archaeology' they are not great, and our reliance on them is not necessarily a good thing for British archaeology (they tend ,IMHO, to underplay archaeology, and thus downsize tenders, thus put huge pressure on contractor when 'there-is-a-bit-more-here-than-we-thought-gov'

[Where significant excavation work is required the UpdatedPojectDesign, based on for example significantly complete site plans, (should) step in anyway ... ]

However the focus should remain on dealing with what is actually there, as it is found, in acceptable manner -sometimes this is unpredictabley expensive until work has begun - this is a risk like any other for capital invested in a development.

Spot on Gnomey. Evaluation by trial trenching is only useful if you put the trenches in the right place.

Try saying to a client....'Well we did 170 trial trenches along your pipeline cost you xxxx, but found no archaeology. Now that doesn't mean there is no archaeology so we need a watching brief on your topsoil strip, which will cost xx, but of course when we find a site it will cost whatever it costs!'

Client, 'well if thats the case, why the hell did we pay you to dig all those trenches?'

How do you know where to put your trenches if you haven't assessed the likelyhood of their being any archaeology and where it is likely to be?
GnomeKing Wrote:interesting discussion...

Indeed, I am enjoying it and it is raising many pertinent points (creswellian or otherwise)

GnomeKing Wrote:Anyway; I am moving to thinking that basically our default position should be 'trowel every layer', unless (effectively) it can be cogently argued as unessescary (and justified, eg though data)

This is considerabley better than having to argue each time for the opposite.

Interesting position to take, though in the rest of the world they tend to assume the negative unless there is evidence to the contrary, (except in the case of religion!:face-stirSmile

Though, in practice, in the field I expect the best possible archaeology (worst for the client) so I can be thoroughly prepared to record it in the time allowed.
But I find you can't talk to clients in those terms as they are easily panicked by the threatening spectre of an unforseen costly excavation.
So Jack you would not recommend the development in the planning applications comments.
.....nature was dead and the past does not exist
Marc Berger Wrote:So Jack you would not recommend the development in the planning applications comments.

No, and I never been asked to.

In the pre-application jobs I have been involved with I have never commented on the application itself. Only on the likelyhood of archaeological remains being present in the development footprint and their likely significance or how the proposed development will or is likely to impact on archaeological remains.

The only comment I have seen that may, on first sight, be taken to be so is when the appraisal suggests that the development will enhance the setting of an existing heritage asset.

For instance if the development will turn a junk yard into a building whose architecture will be more fitting with say a ring of listed buildings around it.

Though technically even this isn't a direct statement for or against the development, just a statement of how it will affect the setting of heritage assets.

I am unsure of how or where archaeologists are or have recommended that planning applications be accepted or rejected other than as members of the public which is everyone's right. Surely thats the remit of planning officers and committees of councilors?
Commercial archaeologists write reports and advise clients. County archaeologists advise, collect/vet reports advise the planning officers etc.
"I am unsure of how or where archaeologists are or have recommended that planning applications be accepted or rejected other than as members of the public"

- it might be interesting to know though...
Quote:It might be interesting to know though...
Not sure where to start. the more pre application the archaeologist gets involved or when on site to post ex. A lot depends if you want to take an adversarial rather than an inquisitorial view of commercial archaeology. If somebody owns a schedualed monument site and selects you out of the phone book and asks you to prepare a heritage statement with a view to developing the site, if you take on the request are you not suggesting to the developer that they have a chance. Like wise any archaeologists preparing eias arent they being selected by the developer because the particular archaeologists are seen to be successful at delivering. Now I use the term archaeologist with a backsight on the threadS congratulations UCL ASE and the rise of the trainee. The former, uses the term archaeologist, at last-very big hurrah, for the digger position and the latter questions what competencies they should have. I don't want to harp on the Valetta convention but isn't an archaeologist a licence to remove archaeology from a site? Their actions are manifest approval. Seems to me that if you can get an archaeologist on site, so long as it is not designated, before application , no other archaeologist can object on grounds of damage to archaeology.

what job title You digging under?
.....nature was dead and the past does not exist

Though any member of public, whether they are an archaeologist or not has the right to complain about a planning application? (or am I wrong?)

And if everything is working right the county archaeologist should be checking the sitework and reporting.

Also I have seen academic and professional archaeologists sign petitions and write pertinent letters in protest of some planning descions.

I've only done a little pre-application consultancy, but as I understand it anything the consultant produces is advice only, easily (and often) ignored by the client, the county planning officers and definitely any committee of Councillors.
Quote: (or am I wrong?)
depends curators have to give approvals or disapprovals via comments to the authorising authority and they like to call themselves "archaeologists" and seem to want to give the impression that they are competent in the digging skills that Apparently are very hard to install in trainees yet we don't see much mention or asking of trainees/graduates diggers to consider that they might have a "right" as you put it support or object to the developments that they work on. The curators as archaeologists don't have the right not too support or object.

A reason that an archaeologist might want to express that right is if they want their archaeological opinion to be considered at an inquiry. If that is so then any archaeologist when working for a client should gain the maximum authority over the site by undertaking the most pertinent intervention on that site so that they might have the far most authority for archaeology and ( I don't mean heritage) at an inquiry.
.....nature was dead and the past does not exist

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