Cultural Resource Management Surveys

cultural1Cultural Resource Management is a combination of desk-based research and archaeological field surveying. This process may identify, record and map known or previously unrecorded archaeological structures within rural settings and isolated landscapes. These surveys can be used to evaluate the extent of the archaeological resource by compiling an inventory of sites and monuments, recommending conservation strategies and further investigation of selected sites.

Surveys are undertaken across several sq. km within rugged and remote environments such as river valleys, National Parks and mountainous regions. The archaeological resource is widespread within these settings, but largely unknown and mostly unrecorded. Many areas have not been adequately mapped since the earliest Ordnance Survey.

Earthsound surveyors perform walk-over surveys using a systematic methodology to better understand upland monuments and landscapes. Once upstanding archaeology or cultural features have been identified, they are recorded in detail, both in terms of physical dimensions, environment and landscape context.

cultural_2Monuments such as animal pens, banks, cairns, ditches, field boundaries, hut groups, mineral extraction sites, sheep dips, trackways and ritual complexes including standing stones and stone circles are often identified in previously unknown areas of activity, achieving comprehensive mapping of the upstanding archaeological remains.

Surveys in the Welsh uplands have demonstrated that highly successful (and cost effective) archaeological assessments can map areas formerly unexplored by archaeologists: Over two years our archaeological surveys identified 418 sites and monuments, 95% of which were previously unknown, completely re-mapping the archaeological resource. Our recent research at Kilcashel, County Mayo has also demonstrated a large increase in 19th century features including mill complexes and a fundamental change in field systems and agriculture.

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