Commercial archaeology, also referred to as developer-led archaeology, is when archaeological mitigation is undertaken to assist in obtaining or fulfilling planning permission for a development, such as the construction of a new road or housing. Around 80% of archaeological work undertaken in the UK relates to development-led projects. The client pays for the archaeological work and invites private archaeological companies to tender, or compete, for the project contracts.
As commercial archaeologists and heritage professionals, we have a responsibility to our client, the profession and the general public. We are regulated by a professional body, the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) and as a CIfA Registered Organisation we are expected to uphold professional standards and give clients clear and informed advice on their responsibilities concerning potential archaeology. The type of archaeological work we do includes research, historic building recording, geophysics, topographic surveys, trial trenching, evaluations, and excavations.