The day started at 8am in a lovely meadow south of Winchester to see the last of seven test pits opened to test drainage. I’m ‘piggy-backing’ a geotechnical investigation and monitoring the test pits for any buried archaeological resources. This kind of task is important as it helps gather information that could be useful later on, such as when development proposals are brought forward and their archaeological implications need to be understood. This task is also part of the bread and butter of any commercial archaeological contractor even when tedious and it ensures we are involved in the wider process; the more ‘normal’ our presence becomes, even when monitoring a groundwater engineer’s test pits, is a good thing. Back in the office there’s the digi pics to download and label up, an email to the consultant and a report to write.
Next up another Written Scheme of Investigation to write, this one providing a methodology for an excavation. These documents really are vital and establish a measurement of what will ensue on site and subsequently in post-excavation. Far from generic (although some parts really should be, such as adherence to published professional guidance and standards http://www.archaeologists.net/codes/ifa), these need to set out precisely what’s going to happen, for your own benefit and that of your client and, being the policeman in all of this, the curator, or County/District/City archaeologist.
Will I have time to look out some background on a Cornish iron foundry or that foreshore site on the Isle of Wight?
For fun, I’ll be keeping an eye on our Twitter account, which I run @PCAarchaeology. Go on, follow me there.