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Archaeology

Good-practice guidance
February 2013

If you require a copy of this guidance in an alternative format (large print, Braille or audio version), or if your first language is not English, we can provide it in the appropriate format or language if you ask us. It is also available in Welsh.

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Archaeology Good-practice guidance Contents 1. 2. Introduction ........................................................................................................................ 3 Archaeology in your HLF project ...................................................................................... 3 2.1 2.2 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Archaeology as part of a wider project .......................................................................... 3 Projects that focus on archaeology ............................................................................... 3

Outcomes for heritage ....................................................................................................... 4 Outcomes for people ......................................................................................................... 4 First steps .......................................................................................................................... 4 Writing a brief..................................................................................................................... 4 Archaeological investigations .......................................................................................... 5 Finds ................................................................................................................................... 6 Publication ......................................................................................................................... 6

10. Protected sites ................................................................................................................... 6 11. Specialist help.................................................................................................................... 7 12. Digital outputs.................................................................................................................... 7 13. Sources of advice and information .................................................................................. 7

Heritage Lottery Fund

Archaeology Good-practice guidance

1.

Introduction

This guidance will be of help if your heritage project either has archaeology as its focus or if it involves the practice of archaeology in some way. Archaeology is a finite and non-renewable resource; it can contain irreplaceable information about our past, and once it is destroyed or removed, it is gone forever. Taking part in an archaeological excavation can be one of the most exciting ways to find out more about our history, but the process of excavation is itself destructive. Therefore, it is vitally important that all archaeological investigations are carried out responsibly to ensure the information recovered is properly recorded and made available for others to learn about. We have produced this guidance to help you think about archaeology in your heritage project.

2.

Archaeology in your HLF project

There are several ways in which archaeology can be part of an HLF-funded project.

2.1

Archaeology as part of a wider project

If your project involves physical work to a historic building, site, park or landscape, you may need to do some archaeological investigation as part of that project. The investigation work will help you to develop your project and make sure it does not harm the heritage. For example, if you are planning to install a toilet within a church, you may need to carry out a trial excavation (called an evaluation) to see whether the drainage works will disturb any human burials or other evidence for the past, including previous phases of the church building or earlier occupation of the site. The results of this work will allow you to plan the drainage to either prevent the archaeology from being damaged, or, if this is unavoidable, to ensure it is properly excavated and recorded. You might need special consent for this type of investigative work if the site or building is protected or is under some form of legal agreement (see section 10).

2.2

Projects that focus on archaeology

Alternatively, your project may rely on archaeology and archaeological techniques to help people learn about and take an active part in discovering information of our past. Archaeology is a fascinating subject that offers many ways in which people can engage with heritage and learn new skills, such as through projects that: involve the community in archaeological investigations, such as excavation, landscape or building surveys , field-walking, research, or other forms of noninvasive techniques (e.g. geophysical surveys); improve access to archaeological records; improve interpretation of archaeological sites; repair and consolidate archaeological monuments or remains; acquire archaeological objects to enable greater public access or enjoyment.

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Archaeology Good-practice guidance

3.

Outcomes for heritage

If your project is focused on the conservation of archaeology, think about how it will be in brought into better condition or better managed as a result of our grant. If the primary aim of your project is to explore an archaeological site by carrying out a survey or an excavation, you may wish to show how the history of the site will be recorded and better interpreted and explained. We encourage you to write up your investigation and incorporate the results into the local Historic Environment Record (see sections 5 and 9).

4.

Outcomes for people

The practice of archaeology can be an excellent way for people to learn about their heritage and to acquire new skills, such as surveying or excavation techniques. Also, it can often be a motivating factor for people to come together to explore their common history, to socialise, make new friends and have an enjoyable experience. Archaeology can be great fun!

5.

First steps

The first step in your archaeology project is to talk to your local authority historic environment service or their archaeological advisor. They will be able to advise you on where to start and perhaps put you in touch with other organisations. They may also hold an Historic Environment Record (sometimes called a Sites and Monuments Record) containing information about archaeological sites in your area, including whether they are protected or under some form of legal agreement (such as an agri-environment scheme). You should show that you have discussed your project with your local authority historic environment service or equivalent when you send us your grant application. You could also look at community archaeology websites such as those hosted by the CBA and Archaeology Scotland (see below) and perhaps get in touch with other groups who have done projects. You could also look at our website www.hlf.org.uk to find out about other similar projects we have funded to give you some ideas as to the range of activities you might want to think about and the issues you may need to consider. If your project involves the community taking part in an archaeological investigation, you should also visit the Introduction to Standards and Guidance in Archaeological Practice (ISGAP) website www.isgap.org.uk and learn about good practice. This website provides valuable information as to how to undertake your archaeology project responsibly as well as providing a useful guide to other sources of further advice and information.

6.

Writing a brief

The next step is to write a brief for your project. This will help you to think about what work you need to do, how it will be done and how much it will cost. The brief should include the following information: an outline of the work that needs to be done and when; whether permission is required for the work and who from (statutory consents, permission for access to the land etc);
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Archaeology Good-practice guidance what fieldwork techniques you will use; what kind of specialist help and training you will need, how you will obtain it and how much it will cost; if you are doing an excavation, how you will protect and backfill the site once work is complete; how you will write up and make available the results of your investigation, including incorporating the results into your local Historic Environment Record; how you will prepare and store the archive, including any digital outputs from your project (see section 12); how the finds will be conserved and where any finds will be deposited (for display and storage).

You can use the brief to help plan your project, to inform what you put in your application to us and to commission work from a specialist.

7.

Archaeological investigations

If you want to investigate an archaeological site or historic landscape there are many different ways of doing it apart from excavation. For example, you could: research the history of the site, using old maps and written sources such as directories; walk the site in order to identify historic features such as field boundaries or earthworks (remember that permission is required from the owner to visit private land); map the site in detail to identify small changes in the land; undertake an assessment of aerial photographs to identify any features which may not be visible on the surface of the ground; identify wildlife and plant species which tell us about the past; do a geophysical survey.

If you are intending to do an excavation, it is always very good practice to do this kind of research first. You can also do archaeological work such as research and recording on historic buildings and even vessels such as ships. If you are intending to repair or conserve a historic building or vessel, it is a good idea to do some archaeological work before you begin. It will help you to understand the item, how it has changed through time, and also what is important about it. Whatever you choose to do, your project team must include someone with the necessary skills to supervise and carry out the proposed work (see section 11 below).

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Archaeology Good-practice guidance

8.

Finds

If you want to do archaeological work on land you do not own you must obtain the owners permission before you begin. If you do find anything on someone elses land, then the items belong to them. If you find gold or silver items which are more than 300 years old you have a legal obligation to report them under the Treasure Act 1996. In Scotland all finds of archaeological or historical importance are the property of the Crown. Your local museum should be able to give you advice. When you plan your project you will need to think about how you will study the finds and where they will be stored in the long term. It is best practice to seek the written consent of the landowner to donate all finds to an appropriate recipient museum. You should try to obtain this before you start your project.

9.

Publication

There is no point in doing archaeological work, including excavation, unless you write up that information and make it widely available to others. Otherwise the information you recover about our past may be lost forever. As a general rule, you should aim to produce a technical publication and ideally something more popular and accessible, such as a leaflet or a website. We will expect you to include the cost of providing a report, archiving your data and publishing the results of your investigation in your application. As a rough estimate, you should allow for about four days of post-excavation and publication work for every day spent in the field. Again, your local authority historic environment service or their archaeological advisor will be able to help you with this. They will also be able to advise you on the best way of entering the results of your work into the Historic Environment Record. In Scotland, an investigation summary should be prepared for Discovery and Excavation in Scotland (DES), published by Archaeology Scotland. If your investigation is in England, Scotland or Wales you should consider submitting a description of your project report online, via the OASIS system (www.oasis.ac.uk). This will also give you the opportunity to have your report included in an online library of unpublished fieldwork reports, which is currently maintained by the Archaeology Data Service. In Northern Ireland you should send your report to the Northern Ireland Environment Agency: Built Heritage Directorate. You will need to think about how you make your information widely available before you start your project.

10. Protected sites


Many archaeological sites are protected, by law, as scheduled monuments (or as listed buildings). They might be in a conservation area or be protected as part of an agri-environment agreement. This means that you may need to obtain consent for any work that you do on the site, including excavation or geophysical survey. If you do not obtain consent, you could be breaking the law. Your local authority historic environment service or their archaeological advisor will be able to tell you whether a site is scheduled (or a listed building), and whether you will need consent for any work. You can also find further details about scheduled monuments on the websites of the
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Archaeology Good-practice guidance statutory agencies, Cadw in Wales, Historic Scotland, English Heritage and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (see section 13 below). If you are planning to investigate a scheduled monument, you should always contact the appropriate statutory agency to discuss your project before you apply to HLF. We will need to know they support your proposals and permission will be granted.

11. Specialist help


If you are a community group thinking about doing an archaeological project you are likely to need specialist help. Whilst your local authority may be able to help with initial advice, your group may need some training in field techniques, and some help to ensure that your project is of a high quality. It is surprisingly easy to damage archaeological sites and lose important information if you do not have the necessary skills. You can include the costs of a skilled advisor as part of your project. If this area is very new to you, you can also ask us about the possibility of help from an HLF mentor.

12.

Digital outputs

Many archaeological projects will produce digital material or outputs, such as digital photographs, drawings, data sheets, web sites or smartphone apps. We have specific requirements for such digital outputs, which are set out in our terms of grant and explained in our good practice guidance, Using digital technology in heritage projects. You might wish to consider depositing your digital archive with a digital depository, such as the Archaeology Data Service (see below), which has data migration and backup procedures in place. You can include the costs for this service in your application. Our standard Creative Commons licence (CC BY-NC) permits and encourages use and re-use of digital material, free of charge, for non-commercial uses. We recognise that data produced as a result of an archaeological investigation might be of considerable interest to archaeological organisations engaged in commercial work, such as desk-based assessments. It is not our intention to restrict the use of data in these circumstances, so if you ask us to make an exception to our standard licence for your data, we are likely to agree that information provided to the Historic Environment Record, Oasis or to Discovery and Excavation in Scotland may be licensed with the Creative Commons licence CC BY, which permits commercial use with attribution. Any digital outputs from your project that do not contain archaeological data will still need to be licensed with the standard licence.

13. Sources of advice and information


Archaeology Data Service The Archaeology Data Service is a digital depository. It preserves digital data in the long term, and promotes and makes available a broad range of data in archaeology. In addition, The ADS promotes good practice in the use of digital data in archaeology, it provides technical advice to the research community, and supports the deployment of digital technologies. www.archaeologydataservice.ac.uk

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Archaeology Good-practice guidance Archaeology Scotland This organisation provides information about archaeology in Scotland. The website includes advice and information about archaeological organisations and services, excavations and getting involved. www.scottisharchaeology.org.uk Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers UK (ALGAO) Represents local authorities across the UK that have historic environment or archaeological services. The ALGAO website provides useful contact information for all those historic environment services, as well as examples of archaeological conservation, management and community involvement. www.algao.org.uk British Archaeology Jobs and Resources (BAJR) A useful website that includes sources of funding and a list of legislation and guidance, as well as contact information for archaeological companies and specialists. www.bajr.org Cadw Cadw is the Welsh Assembly Governments historic environment division. Its aim is to promote the conservation and appreciation of Waless historic environment. The website includes a section of advice for owners, including advice on scheduled monument consent. www.cadw.wales.gov.uk Council for British Archaeology The CBA is an archaeological charity working throughout the UK to involve people in archaeology and to promote the appreciation and care of the historic environment for present and future generations. There is a Young Archaeologists Club. The CBA runs a Community Archaeology Forum where groups can create pages about their project and there is a list of local archaeological societies. There is also a useful list of publications on archaeological methods and ideas for partnership funding. www.britarch.ac.uk Current Archaeology This popular magazine has a useful website which includes advice and ideas for getting involved. www.archaeology.co.uk English Heritage English Heritage is the governments advisor on the historic environment in England. The website includes advice on archaeology, research and conservation as well as on scheduled ancient monuments. www.english-heritage.org.uk

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Archaeology Good-practice guidance Historic Scotland Historic Scotland safeguards Scotlands historic environment and promotes its understanding and enjoyment on behalf of Scottish Ministers. The website includes advice on scheduled ancient monuments. www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/index.htm Institute for Archaeologists The Institute for Archaeologists is the professional organisation for archaeology. It publishes standards for archaeological fieldwork including nautical archaeology. www.archaeologists.net Magic This site contains maps with information about the countryside including protected areas. Originally it was designed to cover England only but it has expanded to include some information on Scotland and Wales. www.magic.gov.uk/projectsummary.htm Northern Ireland Environment Agency The aim of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) is to protect the natural environment and built heritage for the benefit of present and future generations. It is an agency within the Department of the Environment in Northern Ireland. The website includes details of the Monuments and Buildings Record and advice on scheduled ancient monuments. www.ni-environment.gov.uk Portable Antiquities Scheme This is a voluntary scheme to record archaeological objects found by members of the public in England and Wales. The website includes advice on the conservation of finds and the Treasure Act. www.finds.org.uk Treasure Trove The official website for Treasure Trove in Scotland. www.treasuretrovescotland.co.uk