Generic brief for an archaeological evaluation (trial trenching)

Last updated: 1 July 2023

1. Summary

This is a generic brief for use on small to medium scale archaeological evaluations required as a condition of, or prior to the determination of, a planning application. Evaluations are requested where there is good reason to believe there may be important remains but insufficient information to determine the actual archaeological impact of a proposed development.

An evaluation entails the excavation of trial trenches by a suitably qualified archaeologist to identify the presence, extent and character of any archaeological deposits that may be affected.

This brief sets out the standard requirements for the archaeological contractor who will undertake this work. It can be used to:

  • obtain quotes from archaeological contractors (they will also need details of the development)
  • inform the preparation of a project design (Written Scheme of Investigation), which must be agreed by the Council Archaeology Service before commencing fieldwork

Evaluations will normally include:

  • the production of the Written Scheme of Investigation
  • excavation of trial trenches by machine acting under archaeological supervision
  • sampling and recording of archaeological features revealed
  • the production of a final report including specialist post fieldwork analyses

For advice on commissioning archaeological work please see 'Advice on commissioning archaeological work in Buckinghamshire'.