Trial Trench Evaluation

Field evaluation trenches at Bersted, West Sussex

Machine or hand excavated trial trenches provide a means of sampling a large area to record the density of archaeological features and finds and determine levels of recent disturbance such as topsoil stripping or landscaping.  Trial trench evaluation is also employed to test the results of geophysical and topographic survey.  Typically planning authorities request that the pattern of trial trench evaluation evenly covers c. 5% of the area to be impacted by the development.

As with non-invasive methods such as geophysical survey, field-walking and survey, evaluation can help to identify the archaeological potential of a site and to locate specific zones of activity within the site. If geophysical and/or topographic surveys are conducted prior to Trial Trench Evaluation this can potentially reduce the amount of evaluation work required and help to locate evaluation trenches more effectively.

Trial Trench Evaluation is often used to:

  • Determine how important and vulnerable archaeological remains are to inform a planning decision

  • Determine the extent of archaeological remains on a site to inform footing/impact design

  • Inform the need for further archaeological works, typically Excavation / Mitigation

  • To enable developers and their advisors to understand the risks posed by archaeology on their site and effectively plan construction programmes


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General Contact: Darryl Palmer

Page last modified on 11 aug 14 15:41