Vestigia is fully qualified and certified to carry out all archaeological fieldwork, on land and underwater, from initial desk top surveys, via evaluations in the field till full excavation. Beforehand we carefully prepare our work in close consultation with the client, their consultants and onsite contractors to ensure our strategies take full account of the pressures of development and construction. In our experience fieldwork not based on proper early-stage risk appraisal, too often turns out to be an expensive and inconclusive exercise. Therefore, our first advice in most cases is to start with a thorough desk-based historical and landscape assessment. By doing this we can normally identify what archaeology to expect, whether there has been previous disturbance of the subsoil, and what techniques will be most appropriate in the next stages of research.
We provide our clients with reliable and pragmatic advice on appropriate archaeological evaluation strategies and targeted techniques. These may include fieldwalking, geophysical survey, geoarchaeological coring, deposit modelling, exploratory trenches or the excavation of test pits. By means of these archaeological evaluations we collect information on the nature, extent and significance of the archaeological remains present on site. This information allows an accurate assessment of any implications for the development itself and forms the basis for a research design, an archaeological brief and a realistic estimate of the cost of any subsequent excavation or mitigation strategy.
During trial trenching and excavations senior staff members are permanently on site. This enables quick decision making, avoiding unnecessary delays and costs. Our field teams all make use of timesaving digital (GIS-) registration and documentation systems. For the conservation of archaeological finds we have an in-house conservation specialist.
Watching briefs are carried out as a strategy of mitigation on sites where full-scale excavation is not deemed necessary or possible. In those situations, our teams work closely together with the earthwork contractors to ensure adequate monitoring and rapid recording of any archaeological evidence uncovered, whilst ensuring that progress on the actual building work can be maintained.
Sometimes it can prove to be cost-saving to combine archaeological exploration with other disciplines in the field. Our corings and geophysical surveys maybe useful for geotechnical assesments of the substrate to determine load-bearing capacity of foundations. Also detecting soil contamination and World War II explosives in the field can be combined with archeological surveys , saving clients time and money. Vestigia has practical arrangements with several qualified specialised partners to provide combined surveys, if possible.
Examples of services and products we provide: