Actually, it's been a long-established English Heritage practice. When I was at EH many years ago (guardianship sites side of the work), our policy was to
1) avoid digging wherever possible because future generations will have better technology to investigate, analyse and conserve
2) don't dig up unless could afford to conserve, or
3) it would be lost within months if nothing done (for example, land about to slip into the sea).
Conservation options always included backfilling.
Janet E Davis
--- On Fri, 29/10/10, Paul Boothroyd <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> From: Paul Boothroyd <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: [BRITARCH] "Losing" artifacts
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Date: Friday, 29 October, 2010, 16:36
> This is a perennial problem which is
> becoming worse as local authorities are encouraged to 'save'
> English Heritage are, I am reliably informed, starting to
> rebury masonry on site once it has been recorded -it is
> likely to be better preserved than scattered around the site
> and can always be recovered in the future if necessary, and
> doesn't take up precious storage space either.
> With large amounts of pottery perhaps a similar idea could
> be implemented!
> Fragile and degradable artifacts would still remain to be
> conserved and stored of course.