Trial Trench Evaluation

Trial trench evaluations provide direct information on the type
of remains which might be encountered on a particular site.


In line with government guidance, the central concern of planning policy with regard to archaeology is to achieve preservation in situ wherever possible, minimising the need for costly excavation and preserving remains for future study, when more advanced techniques and greater resources may be available.

Information from trial trench evaluations provides a basis for decisions on the management of archaeological resources. Larger scale investigations may be required in circumstances where the destruction of significant remains cannot be avoided.

Data gathering

Schemes of trial trenching usually commence with the machine excavation (commonly within linear trenches) of topsoil/ploughsoil and any other material regarded as overburden. Any significant remains (pits, ditches, postholes etc.) exposed in the trench will be investigated by hand excavation and recorded.

The results of fieldwork are presented in a report submitted to the local planning authority, usually for consideration by an archaeological adviser or planning archaeologist. Typically, an evaluation report will include a descriptive account of deposits and features revealed during fieldwork, specialist reports on finds and environmental samples, and an assessment of archaeological significance.

Our services

Witham Archaeology Services has expertise in all aspects of archaeological excavation, from extensive recording in rural contexts to investigations of complex urban deposits. Our reports are accurate and authoritative, complying with all local authority planning requirements.