Commercial archaeological reports
Unpublished archaeological reports are technical in nature and site specific. If you know of an excavation that has taken place in your study area, the report should be in the Historic Environment Record and you can contact us to find out or do a search on the Unlocking Buckinghamshire's Past website. Excavations that have taken place within the last year may not have been written up. Some archaeological reports will remain confidential for a time on the request of the developer who commissioned the work.
The results of excavations can be incorporated into wider histories, sometimes as a check to the historical evidence and sometimes as providing complementary information. It is often easier to use synthetic archaeological texts where the primary archaeological evidence has been worked on to bring out the meaning. However, just as when using secondary historical sources, secondary archaeological documents should be treated with caution as they often present only one interpretation of the evidence.
The Historic Environment Record keeps copies of archaeological reports that have been produced as a consequence of commercial archaeological investigations. Some of these reports get written up later in journals or as books but many are small or inconclusive and so are never published. They can be a good source of extra detail to any study. Many are in digital format and are available on the Unlocking Buckinghamshire Past website where they are attached to the specific record to which they refer. See the Institute of Field Archaeologists’ website for links to commercial archaeology companies.
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