Geoarchaeology at Cotswold Archaeology

photo of Holly

Hello! I’m Holly, the new Geoarchaeology Manager, based at the Andover office.

I’m excited to introduce Cotswold Archaeology’s new Geoarchaeology Department, and share the geoarchaeological services we now offer.

In the coming months, I’ll be developing a comprehensive range of geoarchaeological services at CA, as well as enhancing reporting processes, developing risk assessments, and expanding the team.

Meeting with clients will also be a priority, to develop new relationships and independent streams of income for the future success of the department.

How can geoarchaeology be applied to archaeological sites?

Geoarchaeological methods can be used to understand the sediments beneath a site, helping to predict where archaeology – if present – may be preserved below the surface.

Sediments can be obtained and assessed in a variety of ways, typically through borehole surveys, trial trenching, test-pitting, and hand-augering.

Sediment data can also be entered into deposit-modelling software to identify layers, archaeological features, or areas which might have archaeological and/or palaeoenvironmental significance. You can find some examples of this, here.

Deposit modelling

Understanding how the environment has changed over time and in turn, how humans may have interacted with the landscape in the past, is key to pinpointing areas of greater archaeological and palaeoenvironmental potential.

Using ground investigation data, geological and archaeological deposits can be modelled to accurately map the subsurface topography.

Typical modelling outputs include: digital elevation models, thickness plots and linear transects (cross-sections beneath a site).

An example thickness plot showing how the thickness of made ground varies across a site based on ground investigation data.
An example thickness plot showing how the thickness of made ground varies across a site based on ground investigation data

Client benefits

Early identification of buried sediments containing archaeological and palaeoenvironmental deposits can greatly assist in formulating effective strategies, to manage and mitigate risks to archaeological resources and cultural heritage assets.

Factoring archaeological risk into the early stages of a project can ultimately help to reduce unforeseen costs and delays throughout the lifecycle of a project.

Geoarchaeological services

  • Geoarchaeological desk-based assessments
  • Written schemes of investigation
  • Geoarchaeological borehole survey reports
  • Technical notes
  • Advice notes
  • Publication
Deposit modelling
  • Geoarchaeological deposit modelling
  • Monitoring of geotechnical works
  • Geoarchaeological surveys (i.e. borehole, trial trench, test-pit, hand-auger)
  • On-site sediment sampling and recording
  • Post-excavation assessment and analysis
Advice / liaison
  • Client consultations
  • Liaison with statutory authorities

Lastly, get in touch!

If you have any Geoarchaeology related queries, please do get in touch. Whether you’re out on site and require advice regarding sediments encountered or sampling guidance, or if there are upcoming tender opportunities that involve geoarchaeological services, let me know – I am more than happy to help.

Holly Rodgers
Geoarchaeology Manager
Mobile: 07866052750

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