We routinely piggy back aspects of early stage geoarchaeological survey on geotechnical test-pitting and coring, saving money and time in the process. However, it’s also possible to see archaeological investigation as a great opportunity to give the geotechnical team enhanced access to the site, with better opportunities for more cost effective and accurate sampling. Not only has this the potential to provide better engineering data, but also to save the client money.

A good recent example of this, albeit on a very large scale, is the Convoys Wharf project in Deptford, London where FAME members MoLA and CgMs investigated the Royal dockyards founded by Henry VIII. You can read about the archaeology of the project here, but a recent presentation at the Association of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Specialists, given by Hugh Mallet, Technical Director of BurroHappold Engineering outlined some of the advantages to his specialism of integrating archaeological works including;

  • obtaining enhanced definition of the ground model,
  • getting good quality lab data at no extra cost, and
  • having access to large areas to ground truth spot data.

BurroHappold worked closely with the archaeological team to ensure they got good access to the site (establishing a hot line for emergency call out) with access to the excavation records to enhance the geotechnical model.

The full presentation can be seen here, although if you are short of time scroll down to slides 33 to 36.

A win win for the archaeologists, geotech team, and the client.