Welcome to SWAT Archaeology - what you need to know...

For some developers archaeology is looked upon as ground poljution to be removed as quickly and as cheaply as possible.

SWAT Archaeology works with clients to overcome this perception and to minimise disruption to developments at a cost which is seldom more than 1 to 2% of the overall budget.

It is essential to involve SWAT Archaeology at a very early stage of the development as part of your management team. Once there are indications from the planners that an archaeological condition will be part of the planning permission, mitigation strategies can be applied. Indeed it is possible when purchasing property or land for your solicitors to attach a condition to the contract that the cost of archaeology will be deducted from the purchase price. For further information on this aspect we recommend you contact the commercial property team at Furley Page LLP (www.furleypage.co.uk)

SWAT Archaeology operates commercially using highly experienced and motivated core staff and archaeological sub-contractors who are the very best people in their field. We are not a charity or trust.

We much prefer not to talk about day rates - although they are the best in the business - but to promote awareness with clients that there can be more than one solution to an archaeological project with the focus on what is good for the archaeology, but never losing sight of even what is cost-effective for the client.

Every industry uses specialist words or phrases which are not always understood. In archaeology most procedures have a term which may not be familiar to you. The most common are:

‘Archaeological Desk-based Assessment’
Desk-based assessments are a quick and cost-effective way of establishing the potential archaeological resource of a proposed development area. Information from all available archaeological and historical records, old maps, aerial photographs and borehole logs is collected and synthesised to determine the potential impact of the proposed development.

A desk-based assessment can be used to design a mitigation strategy, which can avoid costs and delays later in the project. Click here to download PDF

‘Archaeological Recording of Standing Buildings’
Building investigation, recording and analysis form a programme of work intended to establish archaeological significance, including the character, history, dating, form and archaeological development of a particular building, structure, or complex, and its setting. This can include buried components, on land, inter-tidal zone or underwater.

Building investigation and recording should draw on existing records (both archaeological and historical) and on results from fieldwork that has already been carried out. The programme should result in the production of drawings, an ordered accessible archive and a report.

It usually involves the recording of particular features, but may also incorporate elements of invasive, scientific work, such as dendrochronology where appropriate and permitted. Click here to download PDF

‘Heritage Asset Recording’
Increasingly the recording of heritage assets is becoming a requirement of the planning process. The local authority, for example, may require heritage asset analysis and recording during pre-application discussions with a developer. Recording is also necessary when a condition is attached to planning or listed building consents. Click here to download PDF

‘Marine Historic Environment’
Maritime archaeology comprises the study of the evidence of all past human activity related to the sea around our shores. The maritime resource includes prehistoric sites that were once land, other coastal features such as early fish-traps, submerged structures from defending our coast in the World Wars, and shipwrecks from all ages. Click here to download PDF

‘GPS Data Systems’
We are able to provide Survey Control that complies with The Environment Agency's Specification for Surveying Services. This is carried out by our own experiences staff using our own GPS equipment. Swat Survey are based in Kent and we are specialists in providing GPS land surveying, GPS land surveys & GPS surveying in south-east England, London, the home counties and throughout the UK. and Europe. Our specialist knowledge of archaeological sites and our ability to survey ongoing archaeological projects means we are unique in the south-east. Click here to download PDF

‘Archaeological Evaluation’
Archaeological evaluation involves digging trial trenches to sample a site to determine whether archaeological remains are present and, if so, to assess their character, extent, date, condition and potential importance.

The evaluation will aim to determine, as far as is practicable and without compromising the integrity of important archaeological deposits, the full sequence of past events at the site, including information on the ‘natural’ substrate and soil conditions. Click here to download PDF

‘Strip, Map and Sample’
This means removing the topsoil or overburden by machine and mapping any archaeology that is revealed. This allows us to establish a phased plan of the chronology of the exposed archaeology and to excavate key features to an agreed excavation sampling strategy. Click here to download PDF

‘Watching Brief’
A programme of observation by an archaeologist during construction works.

Any of these procedures might be required when you see the following condition on your planning permission:

"No development shall take place until the applicant, or their agents or successors in title, has secured the implementation of a programme of archaeological work in accordance with a written scheme of investigation which has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority".

Click here to download PDF

So if you have the above statement attached as a condition to your planning permission give us a call right away, and not the day before you begin work!

We look forward to hearing from you.

Dr Paul Wilkinson, Director

SWAT Archaeology • [email protected] • 07885700112

An evaluation trench                               Evaluation trenching of about 4% of the development site

Area strip, map                                                                          and sample

Occasionally complete excavation                                                 Especially if an urban site


                  We work from the extreme heat of Pompeii                                                 ... to the cold of Kent


                                         Building Recording                                                                     Urban Excavation

Human Remains

Swale and Thames Archaeological Survey Company

The Office, School Farm Oast, Graveney Road, Faversham, Kent ME13 8UP
Tel: 01795 532 548, Fax: 01795 591731, Mob: 07885 700112, Email: [email protected]

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