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Historical Archaeology Services

Preliminary Assessments

It is important to consider the potential for historical archaeological remains to be present within a site as early in the approval process as possible, as understanding whether a development will impact on archaeological material can have significant time and cost implications when identified late in the project cycle. Undertaking a preliminary assessment is an effective way of assessing a site’s history and determining how subsequent phases of construction and demolition may have affected the archaeological record in order to understand whether further investigations will be required.

Austral is often approached to prepare preliminary reports which can highlight where archaeological remains may be present, and where construction is likely to be able to proceed with no heritage constraints. In this regard, we specialise in providing detailed advice and can outline the approval process moving forward as required.

Historical Archaeology Preliminary Assessments
Wollong Arsons: Historical Archaeological Assessment

Historical Archaeological Assessments

A full Historical Archaeological Assessment is required to support a permit application when there is potential for a proposed development to impact on historical archaeological material, or often when a preliminary assessment has not been completed but consideration of impacts to archaeology is required as part of many approval pathways. A full assessment considers the site development history, determines whether the archaeological remains may be of significance, and preparing management strategies.

Having prepared assessments throughout Australia on a wide range of site types, we are able to utilise our extensive in-house archives and library to assist with preparing an archaeological assessment for your project.

Test and Salvage Excavations

While our heritage assessments can predict with a high degree of accuracy where archaeological remains may be present, it is necessary to ground-truth the data. This is done by physically undertaking the controlled removal of soil in order to determine the precise nature, location, and level of preservation anticipated to be present through an archaeological testing program. Once this has been completed and it is not possible to avoid harming the archaeological remains, then an archaeological salvage excavation may be required, which involves the exposing and detailed recording of the archaeological remains from areas of likely impact.

Austral has considerable expertise in this regard, from small-scale testing and salvage programs involving individual archaeological heritage consultants over the course of a matter of days up to managing teams of upwards of 30 archaeologists over months-long projects. Austral also benefits from having multiple Excavation Directors who are able to obtain permits for sites of both local and State significance throughout Australia.

Archaeological Assessments

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