Poll: Is an emphasis on research rather than recording in PPS 5 a good thing ?
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71 79.78%
14 15.73%
Not sure it matters
4 4.49%
No I love digging percentages of ditches
0 0%
Total 89 vote(s) 100%
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Research be seen as integral to development excavation.
Jack Wrote:Also why should a client pay for a 'site' to be understood? Surely they should only pay to mitigate the damage they will cause. Also in this day and age of landscape archaeology, where does one site end and another start?

I think Jack the point of PPS5 (at least IMHO) is that developers realise the archaeological resource could form an integeral part of the planning process. Agreements they enter into at the planning agreement stage regarding archaeology are as pertinent as agreements they enter into regarding their development and the natural environment, the setting of their development with regard to neighbours and pollution etc etc. Why should a client pay for it? Because the powers that be designate they should!!

The English Heritage practice guide to the application of PPS5 is I think most useful to archaeologists trying to get their head around some of the trickier questions posed by PPS5. And as planning advice fortunately seems to be one area where the government have decreed the EH budget will be protected... we may as well take this as the 'bible' for the implementation of PPS5.....

With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
Ah, maybe you miss my point or I didn't make it well enough. Take the case of building a wallacross say the corner of a IA/RB settlement. The area of impact is well defined as a 100m long 5m wide area. The client has 'bought' that area of ground. The ground outside this area is owned by a farmer.

Now the excavation goes ahead, the archaeological remains are recorded in the impact area. The archaeological remains are a complex of intercut gullies, postholes bounded by big ditches, but only native courseware pottery is found within the ditches.

The 'site' as excavated cannot be fully understood, as it is only part of a settlement, it can't even be properly phased as there is no information on what the features do outside of the excavated area, and without multiple determination radiocarbon dating of every feature it'll be impossible to phase features seperated by any areas of no archaeology.

Are you now saying the client should pay for more of the settlement, outside of the area of impact to be investigated in order that the excavated remains can be understood? I doubt it.
That is an intersting point, as I often heard the comment, its outside the development area, therefore I won't integrate it into my report. Even if it may have relevance to the site. Now as Jack says, the 'understanding' of the site and the recording of the site can be exclusive. However, what he describes is the same as most sites. If I think about York, for example, we excavated this area and then another, then 20 years later look at a site next to one done previous... the picture builds up... so we have been doing patchwork archaeology for years, and there is plenty to research.

So for me, I don't see a problem - as long as there is a research element. Teh problem comes from non area excavation... how many sites can be understood from a strip 5 m wide?
Surely this has to be reflected in the research design for the project?

If the archaeological resource under threat can only be understood by excavating a larger area, then either the proposal is turned down at the planning stage (as it construes in effect unquantifiable destruction of a finite resource) or the area of the archaeological excavation is made larger to enable adequate recording and interpretation. The very fact that in Jack's example the site cuts the corner of a known IA/RB settlement to my mind establishes the requirement for further research in advance of, or to accompany the recorded results of the excavation. That might easily be some form of non-intrusive geophysical survey; it mght be integration of the results of the new works with the previous archaeological work that established the presence of the settlement. The advantage to the developer of agreeing to fund such work is the resultant planning permission.
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
kevin wooldridge Wrote:The advantage to the developer of agreeing to fund such work is the resultant planning permission.

To continue to use Jack's example, what about the disadvantage to the adjacent landowner? I suspect that you could very quickly wind up in a sticky legal situation if people are denied planning permission because the next-door neighbour refuses to co-operate with even non-intrusive survey. How would you compel them to participate? While I can see no problem with asking for desk-based research and inclusion of the results of previous work related to the site, any level of fieldwork on land owned by someone other than the developer is almost certain to cause problems, even if it is non-intrusive.
'Reality,' sa molesworth 2, 'is so unspeakably sordid it make me shudder.'
I think we have to get back in touch with reality here. There is no suggestion that this kind of thing is being suggested. It would be an absurdity. It would mean excavating most of the UK. The key change in PPS 5 is that the mitigation is nojust recording and it in many respects never has been.

A developer is mitigating damage and if siomething is not been damaged then it does get looked at simple. Both PPS 5 and PPG 16 regard preservation as the best option. As excavation is destructive the notion that a bigger area should be examined is a none starter.

Quote:A developer is mitigating damage and if siomething is not been damaged

The question should be not a standard percentage - but a flexible approach that can be applied dependant on the archaeology, the preservation and the information gained.

Perhaps a spin off thread could discuss the Preservation in Situ concept in regards to development.
Kevin - your suggestion seems silly. You can't compel a client to do archaeological works outside of the area of impact (other than research) as the planning application on covers the area of impact only.
Think pipelines, and especially a pipeline following an existing gas main through a scheduled site.

My point (to everyone) was that often on a commercial excavation you don't get to 'understand' a 'site' fully as your only recording part of it, how can you possibly understand how what you've recorded relates to the unknown features extending beyond the impact area.
Furthermore the notion of 'the site' is an outdated idea. You can't 'understand' a settlement unless you understand the surrounding fields and how they were utilised, the the surrounding environment. So the idea that you keep digging until you understand the site is silly.

There are many cases where all you can do is record as best you can what is within the impact area, then in post ex go and search to see whats been recorded close by, and try and find parallels.

Over time, as BAJR stated, a peicemeal picture builds up and 'understanding' gets a little closer. Its not the place of a commercial digger to create an archaeological synthesis of a region (at the expense of the client), but to record what they found, then assess how further anaysis on the collected archive can address the stated research agendas...and finally to present the anaysis report within its chronological and regional context.
Sorry Jack. I meant of course research and not excavation (and I suggested geophysical survey as a potential non-intrusive addition). I realise in muddling the words I totally confused my meaning. What I was trying to say was that the contractor (or the developer) shouldn't be allowed to get away with the excuse of 'I only want to pay for works directly associated with my 2m x 2m hole' if additional research could place that 'hole' in a greater 'whole'..... In the setting of a 'known' RB/IA settlement I would have thought that not too difficult without the need for making the trench bigger, destroying more than the minimum of the archaeological resource or spending any longer time 'onsite' than required for the immediate works. That was all. Apologies for my mistake ....
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
Ah no worries, I thought your comment a bit oddSmile
And yes additional research should always be done...IF the post-ex assessment process shows that this would address the research agendas.
The client should never have to pay for research for research's sake.

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