Professional archaeological services

The archaeological unit carries out a range of professional services. Our involvement in archaeological projects can take the form of advice or consultancy services, fieldwork and post-excavation work. Our clients for these services vary from developers undertaking archaeological work as part of the planning process, to national heritage organizations carrying out research projects.

The links below provide further details on our services, but if you would like to discuss any aspect of this work, or would like a fee proposal to undertake work for your project, please contact Rob Poulton or Nowal Shaikhley 01483 518777 / 518779.

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Archaeological fieldwork

We carry out fieldwork projects of every type and size. Many of these are organised in response to a condition imposed as part of a grant of planning permission.

Such work can include:

  • Watching Briefs - Examination of ground disturbance in the course of development and recording of any archaeology that might be revealed.
  • Evaluations - Designed to test the archaeological potential of an area, most often by the excavation of trial trenches.
  • Excavation - Carried out to make a full record of important archaeological sites.
  • Building Recording - Creating a permanent record of historic features of a building, especially where they will be destroyed or altered, or are revealed, during redevelopment.

Artefact study

The unit has the skills and facilities to provide a full post-excavation service. We have a modern purpose-built finds processing centre with secure museum standard storage facilities.

We can offer a wealth of experience and expertise in the identification, assessment, and preparation of reports on almost all categories of artefact.

Desktop assessments

Much of the SCAU's (Surrey County Archaeological Unit) work is carried out on behalf of clients, meeting their need for archaeological work within the planning system. We can organise and carry out all aspects of such work.

A desk-top assessment is often the first requirement. It provides an analysis of the historical and archaeological background, and assesses the potential impact of proposed development.

The research materials and skills that enable us to prepare high quality desk-top assessments, also provide the basis for a variety of other projects. For example we have recently prepared the Extensive Urban Survey of 17 Surrey towns on behalf of English Heritage.

Finds Processing Room Hire

Surrey County Archaeological Unit are based at the Surrey History Centre in Woking. The purpose built Finds Processing Room forms part of the SCAU offices and is available for hire. Easily accessible by both car and public transport and with facilities for a variety of post-excavation work, the room is ideal for groups needing the space and equipment to carry out their own archaeological projects, research and meetings.


  • £150 per day (9am to 4pm) Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday
  • £75 per half day (9am to 12:30pm or 12:30pm to 4pm) Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday

Price includes:

  • Full use of the Finds processing room
  • 5 tables and 10 chairs (more available if needed)
  • Use of washing bowls, toothbrushes, larger brushes, finds trays, newspaper
  • Use of drying rack (If not removed on the day, finds must be clearly labelled and collected within 1 week)
  • Microscope
  • Environmental Processing and floatation tank
  • Environmental sample sorting equipment, including tweezers, trays and magnifying glasses
  • 2 sets of small weighing scales and 1 large
  • Finds marking equipment, including dip pens, nail varnish and ink
  • Access to stationary
  • Plug sockets
  • Free parking (subject to availability)
  • Use of toilets (male, female and disabled), access to a fridge, tea and coffee making facilities
  • Access to sink, hot/cold water and handwashing facilities

Optional extras:

  • Finds packaging materials such as bubble wrap, foam, acid-free tissue paper, finds bags, archives boxes, silica gel - prices on request
  • Advice from finds specialist is £45 per hour
  • Advice from pottery specialist is £45 per hour
  • Advice from flint specialist is £45 per hour
  • Advice from community archaeologist is £45 per hour
  • Pottery and small finds drawings is £45 per hour
  • Reconstruction drawings is £140 per half day

For more details or for information on hiring equipment for fieldwork please contact Surrey County Archaeological Unit via email or call 01483 518737

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