During 2008 an ecological compensation scheme as part of the London Gateway container port development, adjacent to the Thames estuary near Stanford-le-Hope, Essex, required the creation of an intertidal habitat, through a reduction of the land surface by 1m and a sea wall breach of an area of reclaimed salt marsh. This compensation area became known as Site A. Deposit modelling was undertaken across Site A, using gouge coring and resistivity transects to define the interface of the Holocene-Pleistocene deposits and to characterise the sedimentary architecture of the postglacial sequence. A gradiometer survey was also undertaken as part of the deposit modelling programme to identify archaeological remains within the upper 1m of the sediment sequence, which was the limit of the impact depth from ground reduction. The deposit model allowed a geoarchaeological zonation of the site, with Zone 1 interpreted as a buried river terrace containing the potential for deeply stratified and well-preserved archaeological remains. Evaluation trenching targeted key archaeological features across the site to characterise the depths and potential of any recorded archaeological and palaeoenvironmental remains. This approach of targeted evaluation, informed by deposit modelling, allowed for a reduced trenching strategy compared to a standard blanket evaluation process of an agreed percentage area. In turn, this allowed the archaeological process to proceed quickly from evaluation into excavation mitigation and facilitated post-excavation analysis of the sequences, providing a rich archaeological narrative.
|Title of host publication||Deposit modelling and archaeology|
|Editors||Christopher Carey, A.J. Howard, D. Knight, J. Corcoran, J. Heathcote|
|Place of Publication||Exeter|
|Publisher||Short Run Press|
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 11 Apr 2018|