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Archaeological Evaluation, Land Use and Development

An application of decision theory to current practices within the local government development control processes in England

Ruth Waller


Despite theoretical advances in some areas of Field Evaluation practice, little research has been undertaken on the application of theory to actual Decision-making processes in the operation of Field Evaluation within the planning system. Through her professional capacity as a Curatorial Archaeologist employed by three separate English local authorities over the last 17 years, the author has recognized the necessity for further analysis and improvement of current pre-determination Field Evaluation approaches. This book investigates the effectiveness of Field Evaluation through an assessment of its Decision-making processes. The author aims to provide tools for Curatorial Archaeologists to better structure their approaches and to make better use of the information resources available. In order to achieve this aim, the following objectives were identified: 1) To use process modelling of current Archaeological Assessment practice to identify the Decision-making points at which improvements could be made; 2)To use an application of Decision Analysis to identify the actual processes performed by the Curatorial Archaeologist when selecting Field Evaluation techniques for specific sites; 3) To develop quantitative techniques to measure the effectiveness of current Field Evaluation techniques; 4) To measure the effectiveness of archaeological techniques from a case study sample of PPG16-required Field Evaluations carried out in England between 1990 and 2004; 5) To identify potential tools and approaches which might provide the profession with improvements at the selected Decision-making Points.