Archaeology is the investigation of the physical remains of the past. This section describes the methods we use to excavate sites (intrusive investigations) and techniques we use to interpret the deposits and features we discover and the samples and finds that we recover.

You can find out more about non-intrusive archaeological methods (survey techniques) on the landscape survey and remote sensing pages.

You can follow our work on the Historic England Archaeology Twitter account @HE_Archaeology and search for our reports on the Research Reports Database.

  • Excavation

    Archaeological excavation is the controlled examination and removal of the buried deposits and features that make up archaeological sites,

  • Scientific Dating

    Scientific dating uses biological and physical methods for assessing the time when things happened in the past. We offer advice and conduct research.

  • Archaeological Conservation

    Archaeological conservators carry out investigative and remedial conservation from well-equipped laboratories. We offer advice and conduct research

  • Materials Science

    Our experts study the production of metal and glass objects and associated waste (slag). We curate reference collections and offer advice

  • Archaeological Archives

    Archaeological archives consist of the records and finds made during an archaeological project

  • Computers & Archaeology

    An overview of how Historic England use computers for their archaeological excavations.

  • Zooarchaeology

    Zooarchaeologists study archaeological animal bones. We develop methods, conduct analyses and curate a modern comparative collection.

  • Environmental Archaeology

    Our environmental archaeologists include experts in the disciplines of archaeobotany, geoarchaeology, palaeoecology, zooarchaeology and human remains

  • Geoarchaeology

    Geoarchaeologists use earth sciences to understand archaeology. We develop methods, conduct analyses and offer advice

  • Archaeobotany

    Archaeobotanists study archaeological plant remains. We develop methods, conduct analyses and curate modern comparative collections

  • Human Osteoarchaeology

    Osteoarchaeologists study archaeological human bones. We offer advice, conduct research and curate collections of Roman and medieval remains