Current archaeological practice in the UK and elsewhere focuses on the collection of empirical data. While scholars have proposed theoretical advances in field techniques, very few of these methods have been adopted in commercial archaeology. A combination of increased time pressure on development projects and the conservatism of the sector contribute to challenging times for archaeological practice. Additional complexity is introduced by large-scale infrastructure projects unsuited to standardised field techniques. This article explores these issues, calling for a flexible, consultative approach to project design and implementation, to ensure the longevity of both archaeology and the archaeological profession.
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