Bringing the Past into the Present
Gerry Martin Associates Ltd (known also as Cumbria Archaeology) was formed in 2006 as an independent company, a natural progression following over twenty years of previous service in the archaeology sector both in the UK and abroad and is wholly owned and managed by Gerry Martin BA, MA, MiFA.
During my working life in archaeology the profession has progressed from a public service, to contracting companies and to its next development that will be professional partnerships and associations. My intention is to build on the established strengths that have evolved during the last thirty years, but provide the customer with the service they require at an advantageous price.
Archaeology as a profession combines craft skills, the process of reasoning and observation primarily through excavation, and intellectual understanding through a deductive and iterative process that informs our collective knowledge of the past.
The skill of an archaeologist therefore resides within the person rather than the institution. Engaging highly experienced staff for bespoke projects, GMA Ltd can offer the client the very best in professional archaeology without the cost of an expensive and overbearing administration at a very competitive price ensuring that timetables and deadlines are fully met within the total project package.
A developer, or any party advancing a planning proposal may discover that there is an archaeological condition attached to their planning consent or may be required to submit a pre-determination Desk-based Assessment alongside a planning application.
For the lay person, this may be rather daunting as they understandably know little about archaeology or the planning process. Unknown quantities such as cost and delays are common fears but in a well-prepared project these risks should be minimal.
GMA Ltd provides considerable experience in delivery of archaeological projects on time and on budget in often challenging conditions.
An archaeological brief is normally prepared by the planning authority for any potential archaeological work.
The response that GMA Ltd offers is:
- Production of a method statement (Working Scheme of Investigation) to undertake the work
- Execution of the brief requested by the curatorial authority
- Production of a client report or if the project demands it, assessment that leads to a detailed archaeological report or publication
- Discharge of the planning condition
The process is streamlined, transparent and simple and the intention of GMA Ltd is to keep it that way!
As the company operates on strictly project orientated lines, the company has the flexibility and access to a full range of services suitable for modest projects such as small housing extensions through to multi-million pound capital developments.
These services include:
- Archaeological evaluation: the process where the archaeological potential for a site is assessed through an examination of a limited sample area
- Archaeological excavation: where the surviving archaeological deposits warrant detailed examination and removal as part of a systematic process producing a repeatable model
- Archaeological watching brief where low level archaeological potential exists conducted during the development
- Desk-based assessment: a review of archaeological and historical sources prior to any development occurring to inform consideration of a planning application or development of a programme of archaeological works as part of a condition
- Field surveys pre-excavation reconnaissance including field-walking, walkover surveys, metal detecting surveys and geo-physical surveys (out-sourced)
- Historic building recording: recording of a historic building prior to major renovation or demolition occurring
- Project management and archaeological advice: advice pertaining to the archaeological element within the planning process and an independent opinion
- Specialist archaeological services: these varied services include metal detecting surveys, osteological reports, environmental analysis and coin identification
The practice has been embedded since 1999 within the community of Carlisle and is a member of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses.
The proprietor Gerry Martin attained the level of Member of the Institute of Archaeologists (MiFA) in 2002, the highest professional level of archaeological competence and an acknowledgment of directing and successfully expediting substantial archaeological projects.
Potential clients should be aware that in many cases archaeological curators will advise or insist that archaeological projects are managed by archaeological practitioners to this level.
Following completion, projects are internally reviewed in order to improve performance and attain best practice.
The business is fully insured including professional indemnity.