This page introduces the range of methods we use to research, investigate and analyse the historic environment. These include:
- Landscape-scale approaches involving, for example, aerial photography and mapping, and Historic Landscape Characterisation
- Place-based non-intrusive methods including analytical landscape survey, geophysical survey, and historic area assessment
- Site-based methods including building investigation, earthwork survey, geospatial survey, imaging and visualisation, scientific dating, and targeted archaeological excavation
- Post-excavation conservation and scientific analysis
We also commission research employing these and other methods, and produce technical advice notes that explain our approaches.
Historic England experts use airborne remote sensing methods to identify, record and monitor the condition of heritage assets
This section describes archaeological excavation methods and the techniques used to study artefacts and ecofacts, including scientific dating.
Historic England experts investigate how geophysics and specialist survey methods can be used to learn about heritage assets
Investigation methods and techniques used by Historic England to assess the character and significance of England’s built environment.
Landscape Survey: the recording and analytical methods we use when investigating sites and areas on the ground.
We characterise in order to attain a certain level of understanding of large parts of England’s historic environment with the aim of supporting those who manage, protect, and design or guide change within it.
Techniques like reconstructions, archaeological or analytical site illustration, infographics and film help people to understand and enjoy heritage.