Retained Archaeologist Services

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As recognised by Historic England the seas and shores around the world contain an immense wealth of archaeological sites and remains, yet at the same time are areas that are subject to increasing pressure from development. MSDS Marine are a specialist marine and coastal contractor specialising in the management and support of archaeological projects. Through extensive experience in the industry we are able to work with clients to guide them through the planning and consents process, providing the complete range of services required during the planning, construction and operation phases of development projects, including offshore renewables, aggregates, dredging, energy and ports and harbours.

You can find out more about our Archaeological Services here.

Marine Planning Consents

Our experience as a market leader in the provision of archaeological services means we are able to work with our clients to guide them through the planning process, providing advice and support through all stages of their projects. We pride ourselves on our flexible approach and attention to detail, and work hard to achieve positive outcomes for our clients.

MSDS Marine have extensive experience of undertaking a wide range of archaeological desk-based services to support their clients through the planning process, from pre-application to post-consent. Their staff have a great deal of experience working with all types of marine archaeological assets, from wreck sites to intertidal remains and submerged prehistoric landscapes.

Services include input into screening, scoping and preliminary environmental information, the production of environmental statements, impact assessments, written schemes of investigation, method statements, production of specialist technical reports and provision of advice and guidance. MSDS Marine are also highly experienced in the archaeological review and assessment of geophysical, hydrographic, ROV and geotechnical data.

MSDS Marine also undertake mitigation planning, and work alongside clients to develop creative solutions to gain consent and discharge licence conditions. To further support their clients through the process MSDS Marine can fulfil the role of retained archaeological consultants. This establishes a close working relationship with the developer to ensure that all archaeological requirements are met, and that advice is always on hand as needed.

Retained Archaeologists

Once consent has been gained we are able to act as Retained Archaeologists, stream lining liaison with regulators, consultees and other stakeholders. We work with our clients to simplify the process and provide high quality advice and support, constantly going the extra mile as needed.

MSDS Marine’s approach to contract management is to ensure that the most appropriate members of staff are assigned to the project from start to finish. This approach ensures the consistency of all deliverables and an informed view of the project as a whole to ensure that any advice given takes into consideration all available information and includes previous, current and future works. Our wealth of experience and range of services allow us to help and provide expert advice on all areas of archaeological work.

Existing Retained Archaeologist work undertaken by includes works the production of the Written Scheme of Investigation (WSI), review of hydrographic data, the production of method statements and development and implementation of Protocols for Archaeological Discoveries and on-going watching brief provision.

Geophysical and Hydrographic Data Review

For most marine development projects, the archaeological review and assessment of geophysical and hydrographic data form a core component of the required archaeological scope of works. The data is assessed to establish the presence of any material of archaeological potential within the development area, both on the surface and as part of the pre-historic landscape.

MSDS Marine are market leader in this field, undertaking archaeological assessment for a large number of Round 3 wind farms and aggregate extraction areas. MSDS Marines’ experience as both archaeologists and geophysicists ensures a robust interpretation and mitigation strategy for their clients.

MSDS Marine can provide support through the whole process, including input into the survey specification to ensure it meets requirements, data interpretation and mitigation planning.

Geotechnical Assessment and Analysis

Where development projects impact the prehistoric environment through the disturbance of horizons with palaeoenvironmental or archaeological potential there will be a requirement for mitigation. This is typically through the archaeological assessment and analysis of geotechnical samples collected pre-construction for engineering purposes. Where required MSDS Marine will work with clients to ensure all archaeological requirements pertaining to prehistoric environments are met, while minimising costs. MSDS Marine can provide a range of services and support in this area from advice on coring locations, to geoarchaeological assessment and analysis of core material and method statements for this work. MSDS Marine can also feed results back to the client to allow detailed ground model development and aid overall understanding of the site conditions.