CIfA, working with FAME and funded by Historic England will be undertaking a project 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.

Currently there is a call for expression of interest to delivery part of this project (deadline September 30th)

Call for expressions of interest_v2

The project will be managed by a Project Executive Board comprising CIfA, FAME and Historic England, advised by a Project Advisory Group which will include representatives from the minerals, housing and infrastructure sectors and from the Association of Local Government Archaeologists (ALGAO). Joining them on the Project Advisory Group will be a researcher at the University of Brighton undertaking a four-year doctoral research project into evaluation methodologies through the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology(SEAHA), in collaboration with Historic England and Trent & Peak Archaeology. The Project Advisory Group will meet around six times during the course of the projects which will also be guided by four wider stakeholder consultation workshops. All meetings are scheduled to take place via online video conferencing. For more information about this project, please contact