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What would eh know about buying land for development?
#1
https://www.historicengland.org.uk/image...l-remains/

Quote:In some urban locations, particularly towns and smaller cities, development economics have
in the past encouraged developers to propose schemes which retain the archaeological sites
beneath them from the outset. This is because the potential cost of excavation and post-excavation
of large quantities of archaeological material may be greater than the funds available.

Whilst such a ‘lowest cost’ option might initially seem to be attractive, it is essential that the
significance of archaeological deposits and their state of preservation are fully understood,
and harm adequately assessed. This provides sufficient information for decision-taking, and
helps to minimise the risk of unexpected impacts and costs later in the process.

Apart from eh pretending that this is "publication", why dont they just produce it as webpages, my beef with eh's attempts to claim authority over field archaeology is that the clients that I would prefer are ones that come to me before the land is purchased, compulsorily or other wise, mostly because costs could be presented to both the vendor and all potential buyers that should be reflected and defined in the purchase price. Eh popping up with advice after some poor mug has bought a pup is not only plain stupid I think that eh is in collusion with the vendors to maximise their profits from the sale of the land and compensation in cases of compulsory purchase and leaves the archaeological assets as liabilities to the development.

The vendors are the original owners of the archaeology, they should pay a fair contribution from their profits of its sale for it. At a practical level archaeological assessment should be part of the property searches and a matter of conveyance if not indemnity insurance. Buyers should insert claw backs for the archaeology from the sellers.
.....nature was dead and the past does not exist
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#2
[URL="https://www.historicengland.org.uk/advice/technical-advice/archaeological-science/preservation-in-situ/"]
Quote:Preservation in situ

Preservation in situ is the term used to refer to the conservation of an archaeological asset in its original location. It can describe situations when a site is preserved as part of a development scheme, but also refers to the long-term management of wetland archaeological sites. .

Critical to the success of any preservation in situ scheme is that the below-ground environment is understood fully, particularly before construction or land-use change begins. Where development does take place over archaeological sites every effort should be made to minimise the harm to the significance of the site. This is explained in more detail in the guidance below.
[/URL]

"the below-ground environment is understood fully, particularly before construction or land-use change begins."

Dear EH full understanding is done by field evaluation. The ONLY point of a field evaluation is to asses the cost of excavation and possibly a cost of preserving the record produced by excavation. It seems to me that all the case studies presented by eh have not presented any costs for "excavation" bar one where I presume a cost was established because this was the in situ preservation solution:

Quote:Historic England was also willing to offer some funding (through its emergency funding programme) help with the costs of this excavation (because the scale and complexity of the site was beyond that which the site owners might have otherwise expected to have encountered and because the owners had met all of their obligations regarding archaeological conditions).


I presume that the "otherwise expected" in "the scale and complexity of the site was beyond that which the site owners might have otherwise expected to have encountered and because the owners had met all of their obligations regarding archaeological conditions" is a legal term. I wonder if I could try it out. This emergency funding programme could I have some please sir. Is it statutory?

what does owners had met all of their obligations mean
.....nature was dead and the past does not exist
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#3
Marc Berger Wrote:Buyers should insert claw backs for the archaeology from the sellers.

Some of them do, it's called knocking a load off the price. Recent one up here where buyer was demanding £800k for archaeology be knocked off the price of some land, no idea what it was that their archaeological consultant thinks is there, seems like a lot of money to sort out some IA/RB field system

...not that we'd refuse it, of course, could do a proper job and 100% sample everything :face-approve:
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#4
you dont get 800 k upfront. Its a libility on the seller. anything over is down to the current owner. The whole point is to have a full evaluation prior to the sale. The point of the evaluation is estimate the costs of excavation. Its that figure which is relevant to presevation in situ. I presume that the figure was made up by the consultant without an evaluation. What would be interesting to know is if the consultant took out any insurance in the event that that figure was proved to be inadequate

In this eh document https://content.historicengland.org.uk/i...udies.pdf/ page 18 they use a term "evaluation excavation". neither one thing or another. This whole document is not any kind of advice for whom it says its for. Can you find anything relevant in it. Basically it does not address what evaluation is which is to asses costs of excvation by evatuation and I would also suggest that it does not provide an assemnet for costs for preservation in situ either. Not really very helpfull in the real world more like a public service diary of justification
based on whats in an emergancy fund for developers who have fulfilled their obligations in eh's eyes.

I think that archaeologists should clearly define where the moneys coming from before even starting an evaluation
.....nature was dead and the past does not exist
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#5
A hand-dug evaluation trench is just a small excavation, surely? Same standard of work and reporting, anyway, or should be :face-thinks:

I'd agree that those 'evaluations' done by outfits who've costed to turn up with a machine to dig and backfill the trenches in a day and say there's nothing there probably don't count as 'excavation' though (at least in any archaeological sense) - FAR too many of those :face-crying:
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#6
You cant blame them if the curators are just using it as a presence or absence exercise.

Yes shirley an evaluation is an excavation but its a sample. You use the costs of undertaking it to estimate the costs for opening up the extents and predicting the techniques that will be applied to the materials and contexts that are expected to be found. Depth and type of over burden to be removed from the extent is one very simple estimate that can be made from the evaluation. The eh sites seem to have affinity to water logged materials. Finding such material leads to what you proposed to do with them that all equates to costs for a bigger excavation.

looking at the case studies https://content.historicengland.org.uk/i...udies.pdf/ again theres one with a "hospital trust" where a boat has been made a scheduled monument

Quote:A legal agreement was devised and has been signed by the Hospital Trust and Historic England, establishing a timetable and trigger levels for the monitoring scheme, with various events identified within the agreed timetable. The trigger levels are associated with water level and redox values. The agreement is for joint meetings annually for formal data review, although Historic England will review the data as they are gathered. An initial monitoring period of five years has been identified. If monitoring data show stability and are below trigger levels at five years, then monitoring will cease.
If the data are less clear cut, then an additional monitoring period of three years will occur. If the data have stabilized and are below trigger levels then monitoring will cease after eight years, but if the trigger levels are consistently breached at eight years, then it will be concluded that the boat is in danger, and should be excavated. The Hospital Trust will have one year to plan and fund the project (in the middle of an extremely busy hospital) and gain all the necessary permissions

that's advice between public servants about how to stand around whilst building over a scheduled monument. Whats it cost?

the Shardlow, Derbyshire boat is even more bizarre, it appears the boat was not found in evaluation but in construction and a mitigation was allowed for a haul road to be built elsewhere? No mention of evaluation. I like this quote

Quote:As the quarry company already had experience of the excavation and conservation of one log boat elsewhere in the quarry, they were keen to re-route the haul road to avoid impacting the boat and the costs of excavation and conservation


What were the costs of excavation eh? what are the costs of preservation in situ?

evaluation
.....nature was dead and the past does not exist
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#7
https://library.thehumanjourney.net/87/1/KIRTMV08.pdf

yes folks this is a watching brief in a church yard. At what point would you have said that the watching brief was over and that you did not have resources or contingency to excavate the site fully and so make the cheap trench arch option more like the end of the Church of England's pension fund?

Some quiz questions on Oxfords report:

Question 1: Figure 4: Sections 1 and 2, where is figure 1 in the plans?

Question 2: Figure 4: Sections 1 and 2 how deep were the sections?

Question 3: After you pour raw human sewage into the trench what immediate effect will there be on the archaeology?

Question 4:In table 1 does "Completeness" and "Condition" relate to the whole skeleton?

Question 5: What are charnel deposits?

Question 6: How many Skeletons were encountered in this watching brief?

Question 7: Would a unit that considers the excavation of any skeleton in a watching brief adequate by breaking the bones off at the baulk when financially employed by an organisation that has control over its own planning permissions and that is flogging "trench Arch" as the cheapest option, to be an unbiased unit to produce this report?:

https://historicengland.org.uk/images-bo...urchyards/

Should you ever trust a the organisation that would select such a contractor?
.....nature was dead and the past does not exist
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#8
I worked on a very well known cemetery research excavation back in the '80s where we had to go round at the end of the season and hacksaw projecting bones back flush to the sections - made for some amusing moments in subsequent seasons in adjacent areas where students would be confronted with abruptly-terminating skellies Big Grin
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#9
what is the point of excavating skeletons in a church yard?
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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#10
dino you did not have to hacksaw, you did it because you were told to by somebody who had lead everybody into believing that that was alright probably because they had the money and had started running leaving you as the mug to give the impression to the client that it was alright.

Prentice, the point is that it should cost a small fortune and take a life time as eh are still finding when they ballsed up this site:

http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/arch...r_eh_2010/
.....nature was dead and the past does not exist
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