Front covers of Historic England advice and guidance documents
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Historic England publishes an extensive range of expert advice and guidance to help care for and protect historic places
Historic England publishes an extensive range of expert advice and guidance to help care for and protect historic places

Guidance Open for Consultation

Your chance to have a say on advice and guidance documents we've published in draft. Your feedback will help us make our advice and guidance useful.

Managing Lithic Scatters and Sites: archaeological guidance for planning authorities and planners

Lithic scatters and sites are an important archaeological resource that can provide valuable insights into prehistory. Most commonly found as scatters of worked stone, usually suspended in modern ploughsoil deposits, which have been disturbed from their original archaeological context through ploughing. Undisturbed lithic sites can also be found through further evaluation and excavations.

This document provides guidance on techniques to extract the most from the lithic resource at all stages of the project from desk-based assessment and fieldwork investigations to post-excavation. It is intended for everyone involved in working with lithic material, ranging from developers to those involved in community based projects. The document offers a broad range of advice and techniques that can be applied to a wide variety of project types and budgets.

Key themes include:

  • the definition and significance of lithic scatters and sites
  • the means to identify, assess, evaluate and excavate them
  • and the mitigation and management of lithic sites

Consultation: aims and achievements of the guidance

This guidance is designed to be an easily accessible document which describes the steps and procedures recommended for the identification, investigation and management of lithic sites. It is intended for everyone involved in working with lithic material, ranging from developers to those involved in community based projects.

The document comprises a summary, an introduction and four main sections.

Summary

The summary outlines the main themes of the guidance.

Introduction

The introduction defines what constitutes a lithic site and the main terms used to describe and define them.

Does it clearly define lithic sites and other key terms?

Section 1: Lithic desk-based assessment

This section is concerned with how to assess the potential of a study area to contain a lithic site, or sites.

Does this section clearly explain how to produce a desk-based assessment of the potential of a development/research area to contain lithic sites?
Does it clearly define the sources and methodologies available to do this?

Section 2: Significance, mitigation and research

This section outlines the significance of lithic sites, their protection and methods for defining their potential research value. It also discusses the range of evaluation procedures which can be applied once the lithic resource of an area has been characterised, and summarises the analytical methodologies which can be applied when excavating and researching a lithic site.

Does it clearly define the approaches through which to assess the heritage significance of a lithic site, design the mitigation of a site and the research potential of the lithic resource?

Section 3: Management of lithic sites

This section discusses the management and monitoring of lithic sites on arable land and other vulnerable locations.

Does it clearly define the available procedures that can be applied to manage and monitor lithic sites in those contexts?

Section 4: Further information

The final section provides further information on historic environment records, a glossary of key terms and specialised meanings, an informative reading list and a list of relevant websites.

Does it clearly explain the potential of lithic site records and define the sources which can be accessed for further information and advice on the prospection, evaluation, excavation and recording of the lithic resource?

Please send responses to the consultation to: [email protected]ch.co.uk or Carl Champness, Senior Project Manager, Oxford Archaeology South, Janus House, Osney Mead, Oxford, OX2 0ES by 6 September 2019.

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