Welcome to the Urban Archaeology blog. Freelance archaeologist Chiz Harward provides a range of on and offsite services to the archaeological profession, including running and working on excavations, post-excavation services, training and development work, and illustration work. This weblog will carry news of projects as and when they happen as well as wider thoughts on archaeological issues, especially recording, stratigraphy and training.


Work at the Minories evaluation is now completed, the test pits have all been backfilled and work on the report is well under way. The evaluation has given LP Archaeology an excellent insight into the type of deposits on the site, the range of artefacts, and the environmental conditions. Just as importantly we now have a better idea of the existing building’s foundations, and how they have affected archaeological survival, and how they will govern the excavation methodology.
 Natural gravels visible in a sondage through the lowest, organic rich, ditch fills

London Finds Factsheets

Urban Archaeology is planning a new series of illustrated factsheets on common London artefacts and has submitted an application for a grant to cover the cost of research, writing and production. 
The factsheets will be illustrated ‘spotter’s guides’ to each class of find, with a brief text on the artefact class, illustrated examples, common identification features, date ranges, and further reading. The information will be pitched at a level suitable for both professional Diggers and the interested amateur archaeologist or student. The factsheets will be published online as free pdf downloads and will be available as A2 posters  and as A4 factsheets. Work on the initial series of factsheets will be completed next year, with planned factsheets including London clay tobacco pipes, medieval and post-medieval pottery, and ceramic building material.
Urban Archaeology believes that these factsheets will help archaeologists in the basic identification of artefacts, will expand their knowledge of those finds, and will hopefully encourage further interest in finds and their study. The factsheets will hopefully prove invaluable to a wide range of archaeologists, from Diggers wanting to know more about the artefacts they are digging up, to members of the public eager to identify finds seen on the Thames Foreshore. The publication of the factsheets on the web will mean that they can be accessed at the point of need, via a smartphone or computer, as well as printed out for display in site huts, processing areas, for use as training and educational material, and for individual use. Urban Archaeology plans to expand the series over the coming years and hopes to develop factsheets on a broad range of archaeological subjects.