F31 Archaeology South-East, UCL Institute of Archaeology
Archaeology South-East started life as the Institute of Archaeology’s Field Archaeology Unit in the early 1970s. The first purpose of the Field Unit was to train students during the Institute’s field schools in Sussex whilst working on staff research projects in the area.
The unit soon became involved in publicly funded ‘Rescue’ archaeology, becoming the regional unit responsible for the archaeology of Sussex. As the 'Sussex Archaeological Field Unit' it undertook a series of important field projects in the 1980s (including work at Boxgrove Quarry, Roman villas at Bignor and Barcombe, and on the Brighton By-pass).
In the 1990s the unit became increasingly involved in commercially funded projects. Operating as 'Archaeology South-East', and re-structured to meet the exacting standards of the private-sector we have become one of the largest and most effective contract archaeology teams working in Southern England. By 2012 the team had completed nearly 3000 commercial projects for a wide variety of clients.
In May 2013 Archaeology South-East was expanded to absorb the former Essex County Council Field Archaeology Unit, involving the transfer of all staff, projects and facilities. The Essex County Unit had, like its Sussex counterpart, been involved in rescue and contract archaeology since the 1970s. The transferring staff had been responsible for a string of major archaeological projects throughout East Anglia, such as the excavation of the Roman towns at Heybridge and Chelmsford.