Land Contamination and Archaeology

Good Practice Guidance

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With a national drive to redevelop brownfield land across the country, planners and developers are increasingly faced with sites that may have been contaminated through previous industrial, commercial or agricultural use. Identifying archaeological remains early on within a development site is an important step in understanding how archaeology can influence remediation strategies and affect construction timescales.

This updated guidance offers advice primarily to those involved in the assessment and management of land contamination, but also to archaeologists, planning and archaeological officers, developers and their consultants. The content has been updated in response to the increase in brownfield redevelopment in England, and to reflect current legislation, planning policy and guidance that is relevant to contaminated land and archaeology.

This guidance raises awareness of the need to consider archaeology during land contamination assessment and management, using case study evidence to show how archaeology can be a receptor, a source of contamination or a pathway for the transfer of contamination to another part of a site. It also recommends steps to make sure that the level of risk is identified at an early stage through a systematic process of assessment, site investigation and stakeholder consultation, so that archaeological remains are considered during remediation design.

It replaces Guidance on Assessing the Risk Posed by Land Contamination and its Remediation on Archaeological Resource Management, Science Report P5-077/SR, published in 2003.


  • Introduction
  • Legislation, planning policy and guidance
  • Land contamination assessment
  • Archaeological assessment
  • Contaminated land risk assessment and archaeology assessment
  • Site investigation techniques
  • Remediation
  • Case studies
  • Key points
  • Where to get advice
  • Acknowledgements

Additional Information

  • Series: Guidance
  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Pages: 42
  • Product Code: HEAG096


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