Dear Jenny

Worcestershire Archaeological Service undertook the Extensive
Urban Survey for Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire in
the early 1990s. As we were one of the early ones our
methodology was slightly different to other peoples but in essence
it resulted in areas of archaeological interest, based on function,
being defined for broad periods - for example Roman cemetery,
medieval tenement plots, medieval manorial enclosure, Saxon
market place etc. Given the tiny amount of information available for
many of the towns many of these " components" of the urban
landscape were highly subjective. They never claimed to be more
than models which needed to be tested by further work. I cannot
speak for the other two counties but in Worcestershire these have
been very successful in allowing us to justify a variety of fieldwork
in small towns were we had never been able to get a foothold
before. We have quite explicitly justified fieldwork just outside the
boundaries defined by ourselves as a means of testing the model.
To my knowledge this has been completely accepted by the
various district planning officers who do not seem to have any hang
ups about conjectural boundaries where they are publically

The strength of having separately defined interpretive layers within
the SMR is that
a) they are clearly interpretive and can change without undermining
the data on which they are based
b) they allow documentation of the interpretive process
c) they move understanding of the data forward and provide
research agendas for small scale field work
d) they allow historical, pictorial and other useful information to be
linked to a spatial area within the landscape

We like them so much we want to extend the idea to the whole
county  - rather a large job

I must stress that these are areas of defined potential not areas
where a certain curatorial response is pre defined. The decisions
on the importance of the potential deposits and the correct
archaeological response are made case by case by our planning
control officers based on the best evidence we can provide  (I can
discuss our approach to this endlessly but won't bore you with it

On 20 Feb 02, at 8:30, JENNIFER Hall wrote:

> Dear all,
> Traditionally we have steered away from constraint areas, areas of
> archaeological senstitivity or archaeological potential as entities in their
> own right within the SMR.  Advice and areas of concern have been given on a
> case by case basis and this information has not been recorded except in the
> letters/reports concerning the site.
> Are there any best practice guidelines or methodologies for how such areas
> are derived?   The drawing of such boundaries always seems very subjective
> to me.  How do you make those boundaries defensible in a public inquiry for
> instance?  (Apart from it's there because we say so.)
> Jenny Hall
> SMR Officer, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire
> [log in to unmask]
> Cambria Archaeology,
> Shire Hall,
> Carmarthen Street
> Llandeilo
> Carmarthenshire
> SA19 6AF
> 01558 823131

Victoria Bryant
Information and Records Officer
Worcestershire Archaeological Service
Woodbury Hall
University College Worcester, WR2 6AJ
Tel: 01905 855494
Fax 01905 855035