Geoarchaeological Specialist

Salary: from £28,200 - £30,845 (depending on experience and pending annual increase) + generous benefits package
Hours: Full time, 37.5h/week - we are open to discussion on flexible working including part-time hours
Locations: based at our Hereford office.
Contract Type: permanent, subject to six-month probation.
Closing Date: 8th April 2024

Headland Archaeology is offering an excellent opportunity for an experienced and driven person to join our Geoarchaeology team and be at the forefront of exciting innovations.

Why should you apply?

We are a privately owned archaeological business, part of the RSK Group, a leader in integrated environmental, engineering, and technical services. We provide heritage services to the development and construction sectors in UK and across the world. With four offices in England and one in Scotland, we offer our employees:

  • Unique knowledge and expertise. For more than 20 years, Headland has provided not only business-focused archaeology but also people-focused business. We are highly respected within our industry for our achievements in innovation, tailor-made development coaching and training, and our expertise in commercial archaeology.
  • Strong pioneering spirit. Our corporate culture is characterised by a healthy appetite for originality and development.
  • Stable company with excellent growth. Over the years, we have demonstrated steady, positive economic development and formed successful partnerships.
  • Good work environment. You will be surrounded by colleagues who are pleasant, professional, and enthusiastic about their work.
  • Opportunity to influence. You get to work in an open climate, close to decision makers and with the possibility of making a difference.
  • Part of RSK group. You will have further opportunities to become involved in nationally and internationally prominent projects with exciting prospects for career development. The group has c.12,000 employees and c.200 environmentally led companies.

In Headland we are proud of our people. We will support you to your meet your goals and train you in specific relevant skills to feel confident and succeed in your role.

The Role

We are looking for candidates who are self-driven with a positive outlook and with demonstrable expertise in geoarchaeology. The role will focus on delivering geoarchaeological and palaeoenvironmental fieldwork and desk-based projects. The successful candidate will integrate within our wider team of in-house geoarchaeologists and work with freelance specialists. Core responsibilities will include providing an analytical and advisory service on all aspects of geoarchaeological studies for internal projects and external clients and helping to develop junior geoarchaeologists and field staff. The role will have a fieldwork component, and applicants should note that Headland Archaeology operates throughout the UK.

This role offers the opportunity to work closely with academic institutions and independent researchers at the cutting edge of geoarchaeological research. The successful applicant will have the chance to take part in and help to drive innovation projects aimed at developing Headland's already diverse geoarchaeological skills portfolio. The applicant will be joining a tight-knit team of specialists working on a range of interesting projects, from small evaluations to large-scale infrastructure. Within the wider post-excavation department, the position offers an opportunity to contribute to a growing number of monographs and other peer-reviewed publications.

All applicants will need a robust knowledge of the Quaternary geology of the British Isles and current themes in geoarchaeological research. Applicants should be comfortable with conducting geoarchaeological and palaeoenvironmental work for Holocene deposits, and experience with Pleistocene deposits is also desirable. A research profile including a publication record will benefit applicants.

Applicants should have demonstrable experience in the preparation of desk-based assessments and written schemes of investigation, and some experience of geoarchaeological fieldwork in a commercial setting. Experience of predictive deposit modelling and palaeolithic archaeology would also be advantageous.

A clean UK driving license and a willingness to drive company vehicles is essential.

Key responsibilities

  • Preparation of desk-based assessments and written schemes of investigation
  • Delivery of geoarchaeological fieldwork, including the identification, interpretation and sampling of deposits with geoarchaeological potential on site and assessing their relevance to project objectives.
  • Work with project teams to select suitable deposits for geoarchaeological investigation and develop appropriate sampling strategies
  • Identify, record, assess, analyse, interpret and report on geoarchaeological samples within defined project objectives at assessment and analysis level.
  • Work with project teams to produce predictive deposit models.
  • Estimate resources and help develop tenders and project plans for geoarchaeological/palaeoenvironmental projects.
  • Co-ordinate geoarchaeological/palaeoenvironmental programmes and personnel within specific projects.
  • Play an active role within many of Headland's innovation projects.
  • Work to established standards, procedures and guidelines as set out by the Headland manuals, CIFA, HE, and other professional bodies
  • Help with the training of junior members of the department and fieldwork staff.
  • Be aware of regional, national and international research agendas in geoarchaeology and help the department in maintaining and developing closer academic links.
  • Source, compile costs and place orders for relevant geoarchaeological equipment.
  • Undertake other tasks appropriate to your skills and knowledge. This may include fieldwork and associated report writing, as well other palaeoenvironmental specialisms including thin section soil micromorphology, pollen, molluscs and luminescence dating.

Essential skills:

  • A degree in archaeology or a related subject and preferably a postgraduate qualification in geoarchaeology/earth sciences or a related subject
  • At least three-months geoarchaeological fieldwork experience in a commercial setting
  • Demonstrable experience of identifying and describing Quaternary stratigraphy, and of interpreting site/deposit formation processes and reporting on the results
  • Familiarity of current trends in UK geoarchaeological research, including the latest guidance issued by Historic England
  • Ability to observe, measure and record accurately.
  • Good organisational & communication skills
  • Ability to work unsupervised and decision-making skills.
  • Substantial knowledge of MS Office & English language

Desired skills:

  • Demonstratable experience of predictive deposit modelling
  • Familiarity with Pleistocene deposits and Palaeolithic archaeology
  • Two-years or more archaeological or geoarchaeological fieldwork experience
  • CITB membership
  • SMSTS, SSSTS, banksman or cable avoidance testing qualifications, or willingness to obtain

Benefits we offer you:

  • Competitive paid subsistence when applicable
  • Paid accommodation when applicable
  • Use of cutting edge technology on site, e.g. paperless systems, iPads etc.
  • Ongoing regular training in various areas e.g. Health & Safety, Technical areas and Transferable skills
  • Time off in lieu for time worked above standard hours or overtime paid
  • Annual profit discretionary bonus & performance-related bonus schemes
  • Monthly clothing allowance
  • 28 days annual leave, rising based on service length
  • Extra annual leave purchase scheme
  • 5%-6% employer contribution to pension scheme
  • Income Protection Policy, after a year with Headland
  • Life Assurance Policy, insuring you 4 times your annual salary, after a year with Headland
  • Regular performance, wellbeing & professional development check-ins
  • Referral scheme with generous fee
  • A support group of 30+ Mental Health First Aiders
  • Regular offers through RSK Group (e.g. Tastecard, Gym membership discount, Holidays and Entertainment)
  • Health support scheme
  • Employee Assistance Programme (advice on finance, mental health etc)
  • Paid CIfA membership
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Being part of RSK Group

Headland is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and we are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.

How to apply

You must have the right to work in the UK without restrictions. Proof of eligibility will be required prior to your commencement.

Send covering letter and CV to Kathryn Turner at jobs@headlandarchaeology.com quoting reference GARCH24

Postal applications will not be accepted. Details of references should include their name, relationship to the applicant, postal address, email address and phone number.

Informal inquiries concerning the role can be made to Kathryn Turner, Environmental Manager - kathryn.turner@headlandarchaeology.com

published: 19 March 2024     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.