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Framework Archaeology

Framework Archaeology is a Joint Venture agreement between the Oxford Archaeology (OA) and Wessex Archaeology (WA) to provide archaeological services to BAA for five years.

Given the potential scale of some of BAA's projects, the joint venture enables Framework Archaeology to draw on the full resources of both OA and WA, including site staff, specialist managers, administrative support, and technical facilities. This combination of resources (totalling over 300 staff) considerably reduces risk for both our client and us, and provides Framework Archaeology with a wider skills base.

Framework Archaeology is committed to a particular archaeological philosophy developed by BAA's archaeological consultants, Gill Andrews and John Barrett. This is concerned with understanding how people inhabited past landscapes: archaeology as a study of people rather than deposits or objects. This approach is at the heart of the Archaeological Policy adopted by the BAA Main Board. Framework projects are thus academically driven but undertaken within a commercial environment. In order to fulfil the approach a Framework Archaeology recording system has been developed and is now in operation on all Framework Projects. It places great emphasis on interpretation in addition to recording, and developing a historical narrative as the site is excavated (Andrews, Barrett & Lewis 2000).

Framework Archaeology has undertaken several very large projects in its brief history. 1999 saw the excavations at Perry Oaks, Heathrow of 22 hectares of multi- period landscapes from the Mesolithic through to the late Roman. In 2000 work centred on Stansted, with a series of excavations and evaluations covering c. 30 hectares. Finds have included a Neolithic / Early Bronze Age standing stone, and Middle Bronze Age, Iron Age, Romano-British and Medieval settlements.

In 2001 the analysis and publication programme for the Perry Oaks excavations began, along with the first stages of analysis for the Stansted projects. Several other evaluations and excavations have also been undertaken at Stansted and Heathrow in 2001, together with extensive field evaluations at Gatwick. Since Spring 2002, Framework Archaeology have been engaged on the excavation of c. 50 hectares of multi-period archaeology at Heathrow as part of the Terminal 5 construction project.

Andrews, G.A., Barrett J.C. Lewis J.S.C. 2000 Interpretation not record: the practice of archaeology. Antiquity 74, 525-30

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