Tag: Excavation companies

The Basics of Excavation

Level Ground Excavation is a crucial part of every construction project. It involves removing dirt and rocks to prepare the site for building.

The excavation process is complex and requires careful planning and execution to ensure the safety of workers. This article will cover the different phases of excavation, including conducting a site survey, developing a detailed plan, and obtaining necessary permits and approvals.


Site surveys are important because they help an archaeologist determine if archaeological remains are in a location. It also helps them decide the best approach to take at the site, whether excavation or other non-disruptive methods of investigation.

Unlike excavation, which is destructive, surveying allows archaeologists to examine a wide-ranging area of land without damaging it. Survey techniques can include magnetic mapping (using a magnetometer) and electrical resistivity mapping (shooting an electrical current through the ground at intervals to measure soil resistance). Both can identify areas with different materials beneath the surface, such as stone or pottery.

Another important aspect of a site survey is locating underground obstructions, such as natural obstacles or sewer lines. This is essential because repairing or replacing these utilities can be very expensive if they are damaged during construction. Contacting your local utility mapping service or calling 811 before beginning any work at a site is best to avoid these issues.

The survey phase also involves walking over the land recording and mapping any artifacts found on the surface. This can reveal patterns in the distribution of sites within a region, such as higher densities in some neighborhoods than others or patterns of occupation and abandonment over time.

Surface survey requires a lot of walking and can be hard on the feet. However, it’s important to remember that archaeology is a long game: while excavation is like a microscope, survey is like a telescope; both are needed for the full picture.

The planning phase of excavation is critical to ensuring the project goes smoothly. This process involves ensuring the construction plans fit the site, obtaining necessary permits, and handling any other logistical issues that may arise during the excavation project.

The first step in this stage is conducting a thorough site survey to determine the location and extent of the excavation. This is usually done through geological and geophysical data, test pits, and fieldwork. This information will be used to prepare the site for the building by determining the type of foundation that needs to be installed, such as a slab, crawl space, or basement.

Depending on the soil conditions, it may also be necessary to make certain preparations before starting excavation. This can include sloping and benching the trench walls or installing protective systems such as shoring to prevent cave-ins during excavation. Drainage and stormwater management must also be addressed to ensure the excavation is not compromised by soil erosion or flood water.

Another important aspect of this stage is clearing the site. This includes removing existing trees, shrubs, structures, and debris from the excavation area. It is also important to mark the boundaries of the excavation with a hard barricade and signs. Establishing parking areas for heavy equipment, worker parking, and a place to store the earth that will be moved during excavation is also a good idea.

Finally, it is a good idea to arrange power during construction and locate underground utility lines that must be avoided. Having these details worked out in advance can save time and money during the project by preventing delays.

Before excavation begins, any necessary preparations must be made. This may include surveying, clearing the site, and removing existing structures on or above ground. It may also involve performing soil testing if needed. This will determine how well the soil can bear the weight of any structure built on it and how well it will absorb moisture.

Additional preparations may be necessary depending on the type of excavation. Rock excavation, for example, requires drilling and blasting to remove large rocks and boulders that would otherwise be too difficult to dig through. Other specialized types of excavation are drainage, which involves creating trenches and canals to redirect water flow, and underground, which consists of excavating tunnels for pipes, utilities, or transportation.

Another important part of this phase is ensuring that the excavation site is protected from damage by securing it with barriers and warning signs. It’s also important to pause any electrical and other potentially hazardous connections near the excavation site. This will prevent accidents and reduce the risk of damage to the surrounding area.

The final step in this phase is preparing the site for actual excavation work by clearing the land, compacting it, and laying the foundation. Utilities such as plumbing and electricity are also installed at this point if necessary.

At this stage, it’s also a good idea to perform regular inspections of the excavation site to ensure everything is progressing as planned and that any issues are quickly addressed. This is particularly crucial for large construction projects, which require significant time and resources to complete. A thorough plan and careful excavation process will help ensure that the project is completed on schedule and within budget.

Before the digging phase of excavation begins, workers should take a moment to prepare the area. For example, they may put up barriers or flags to warn people of the dangers of entering the area. They might also ensure the air is tested for low oxygen and hazardous gasses and vapors. In addition, they might set up corner benchmarks to give them a reference point for the site level. Finally, they might dig up a sample of soil for testing.

The next step is to dig the project’s foundation, which typically involves digging trenches to lay pipes for water, sewage, electrical lines, and more. Workers will use precision equipment to ensure the site is excavated to the right depth and location. Depending on the site, they might even tunnel through solid rock.

If the site is on an unstable slope, a trench must be dug to stabilize it. They might also use this opportunity to install a drainage system. This is often done to reduce the risk of flooding and other construction problems.

Other types of excavation include rock excavation, which removes large rocks from a site. This can be done by hand or with the help of specialized machinery. Earth excavation is another type, which strips layers of dirt away from the ground and can include grading. Shoring is the process of supporting the walls of a trench to prevent collapse or cave-ins. This is especially important for excavation, that involves working in deep holes where it’s easy for the walls to collapse and crush workers. This is why you might see companies using trench boxes, which fit into the trench and prevent them from collapsing on employees.

Once excavation is complete, archaeologists begin post-excavation analysis to process finds and environmental samples. This includes identifying and classifying artifacts, analyzing assemblages, and creating records ready for publication. This phase can be especially time-consuming, but it is necessary to ensure that all findings are properly cataloged. It also allows archaeologists to make any adjustments required for future excavations.

Conventional fieldwork procedures today involve a sequence of sub-projects:

  • Desktop assessment and ground-based evaluation are ideally articulated in an outline deposit model.
  • You are setting a model beside evolving research agendas to define an excavation strategy for data gathering.
  • We are undertaking stratigraphic analysis and the assessment of assemblages, as per MoRPHE, to decide priorities for further specialist analyses.

It can also be complicated because redefining initial interpretations as new archaeological information becomes available needs to readily map onto the fragmented commercial context in which much such work now takes place, with specialist outputs paid for shortly after excavation. This is a major reason why many synthetic publications are hesitant to explore the underlying documentation: a reader may be left feeling that an archaeological site needs to be properly analyzed and interpreted.

The emergence of increasingly accurate dating methodologies also transforms this part of the analytical process. These allow archaeologists to provide a more precise chronology of the artifacts that have been recovered and the archaeological layers that they form a part of. This, in turn, will help them better understand the contexts in which they were found and how they relate to one another.