If you are excavating a site so you can begin construction work and you discover ancient artefacts or remains, you will need to call in a team of archaeologists. The archaeologists will assess the find and will then either recommend that work is stopped while they recover the artefact and check the surrounding land, or they will give you the green light to continue with the construction job. Whatever happens, there are a few things you can do which will support the archaeology consultants as they carry out their work.
Identify how you will communicate
As the team leader of a construction crew, it is vital that you establish one point of contact from within the archaeology team. This person should be in a position where they can make decisions and give commands. The majority of issues which arise when an archaeological dig is taking place on a construction site occur because of a breakdown in communication.
Consider what they need
Once the archaeologists have assessed the find, you should speak with them and ask them what they need in order to complete their work. For example, some artefacts may be especially sensitive to the vibrations created by heavy equipment, so you may be asked to relocate or shut down certain pieces of machinery which are onsite. You should comply with any requests made by the archaeologists. The easier you make their work, the sooner you can get on with your work.
Provide shelter, refreshments and support
The Australian climate can be very harsh. Archaeology teams working outdoors may be subjected to intense heat or tropical storms. You should treat the team as you would any member of your own workforce and offer them shelter and refreshments. This does not need to be anything sophisticated. Having bottles of cold water on hand and providing them with a shady or air-conditioned space in which they can rest. The archaeologist may also require access to generators to power lights and drilling equipment.
Ask for a debrief at the end of the dig
Once the work has been completed, you shouldn't be too keen to send the archaeologists on their way. Speak to the leader of the team and ask them to give you and your workmates a debrief on what exactly has been uncovered. Not only can this be very interesting, but it can also demonstrate to your workforce the value of pausing the construction work.
If you would like to find out more about archaeological assessments, you should contact an archaeological consultant today.