Planning Portal

DOE Launches Publication On Archaeological Excavations

Published on Wed, 11 Apr 2001
Northern Ireland’s top archaeologists gathered in Belfast, today to attend the launch of the DOE’s ‘Excavations Standards Manual’ by the Department’s Permanent Secretary, Mr Stephen Quinn.
The Manual is a guide to specific statutory requirements in Northern Ireland.
Mr Quinn said: "This Manual provides step-by-step guidance for archaeologists working on excavations in Northern Ireland, in liaison with this Department, and the high standards which this Department expects of them.
"Northern Ireland archaeological legislation fully complies with the European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage (the Valletta Convention), to which the UK is a signatory. Northern Ireland legislation, planning policy and this Manual combine as valuable means for ensuring the highest professional and technical investigation of Northern Ireland’s heritage."

Notes to Editors

  1. The ‘Excavations Standards Manual’ was published by DOE at 4 pm on Thursday 12 April 2001 in the Atrium, DOE headquarters, Clarence Court, Adelaide Street, Belfast.
  2. Under Northern Ireland legislation, the DOE has statutory responsibility for protecting, conserving and promoting the archaeological heritage of Northern Ireland. This responsibility is administered by the EHS under the Historic Monuments and Archaeological Objects (NI) Order 1995.
  3. The Manual provides best practice guidance on acquiring an excavation licence (which is a legal requirement in Northern Ireland), the organisation and management of an archaeological excavation, the recording of archaeological data,the processing of excavated material (including artifacts, environmental samples and human remains), and the preparation and publication of reports.
  4. The impetus behind the creation of the Manual has been the increase in the number of archaeological excavations required to meet policy-based planning conditions for development projects: in 1994, 2 of the 31 excavations carried out were developer-funded and in 2000, 47 of the 65 excavations carried out were developer-funded.
  5. This increase has created work for local archaeological companies, but also for companies based in Scotland, England and the Republic of Ireland, which countries have different legislation.
  6. For further information, contact Paddy Murphy, DOE Press Office Tel. 9054 0014.
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