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Archaeological Survey: Three Important Guidelines for Development

If you are planning on undertaking a development project on undisturbed land, think about the importance of due diligence with regard to historical artefacts and heritage sites. In general, objects and sites of significance are protected to preserve history. Therefore, irresponsible development without consideration of the potential harm could attract legal and financial penalties for you and your company. Therefore, plan on engaging a consultant for an archaeological survey as part of your due diligence before beginning the project. In addition, here are some guidelines to keep in mind for a successful investigation.

Consider the Site Features

The specific development site will determine the probability of the existence of artefacts of historical significance. In general, an archaeological investigation is important if the site features are associated with historical objects. In most cases, an assessment will be required for development approval if the site has special landscape elements. However, plan for the process even if the investigation is not mandatory. Some of the features that indicate the presence of artefacts, particularly aboriginal objects, include sand dune systems, cliff faces, caves and all types of water features.  

Evaluate Project Specifics

The specific type of development work to be carried out will determine the potential effect on historical sites and objects. Therefore, think about this issue when planning for an archaeological survey. If your work will interfere with the natural features, an in-depth investigation is crucial. For example, activities such as construction and placement of utilities will disturb the ground. Therefore, the archaeological survey must determine the impact level of the work on existing artefacts. Provide your consultant with detailed information about your development to ensure the creation of an appropriate impact assessment approach.

Check Existing Information

The use of existing information about your proposed development site could minimise the cost and time of an archaeological survey. The available data could help determine the probability of the existence of artefacts. For example, if another party surveyed the local area for aboriginal artefacts, the information will be available in a database. The details are useful in extrapolating the past historical activities in the area. Therefore, do not overlook the importance of using heritage information systems to determine the likelihood of finding artefacts. This practice could minimise your archaeological survey expenses significantly.  

If the preliminary investigations conducted through an assessment of the site and the study of existing information indicates that your development site has historical significance, inquire about conducting an archaeological excavation from your chosen consultant.