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Planning and building

Guidance for archaeological work

Written schemes of investigation

All archaeological mitigation work requires a Written Scheme of Investigation (WSI) which occasionally, may be produced from a brief issued by the City Archaeologist.

Your WSI should be in line with:

Desk-based assessments and geophysical surveys do not require a WSI unless we specifically request this. However, contractors must confirm they will comply with the requirements set out in our guidance documents.

Find out more about:

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Preparation for written schemes of investigation

Prior to the production of a WSI:

  • developers should discuss the extent of the development, the nature of the works and their intended scope of works with their archaeological contractor
  • contact should be made with an approved museum to discuss archival requirements
  • contractors should set out their selection strategy for the final archive

Contractors should ensure they've made provision for associated fees or archiving costs as part of tender submissions or project costings, and for contingency costs and for publication which may arise from the results of the fieldwork.

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Requirements of written schemes of investigation

A WSI should be based on:

Contractors should therefore ensure that they have made provision to consult the HER as part of any required tender submissions or project costings.

The submitted WSI must include:

  • details of archival requirements including an archival accession number
  • contractors selection strategy for the final archive
  • a summary archaeological background informed by the results of the HER search and identifying any relevant research questions
  • relevant mapping to show the location of the site, its context and the exact locations of proposed works
  • a data management plan
  • an OASIS project number

The contractor will be expected to deposit their digital archive with the Archaeology Data Service (ADS).

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Also see


City of York Council, West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA