FAQs - Archaeology in the Planning Process

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Archaeology - Frequently Asked Questions


What is archaeology?
Archaeology is the study of past societies and cultures through physical remains (sites, artefacts and ecological material)

What is a monument?
Any manmade structure / feature from the past

Why protect and preserve archaeological material?
Sites and monuments are a valuable non-renewable cultural resource, which enrich our landscapes and townscapes and are essential to our understanding of the past

How are sites and monuments protected?
All monuments are protected under the National Monuments Acts 1930-2004. The Planning & Development Act 2000 allows for the protection of the archaeological heritage. Dublin City Council may attach conditions related to archaeology to individual planning permissions on the recommendation of the City Archaeologist’s Office. Dublin City Council Development Plan includes archaeological policies and objectives.

What is the RMP (Record of Monuments and Places)?
The Record of Monuments and Places (RMP) is a statutory list of all known archaeological monuments provided for in the National Monuments Acts. The survey comprises of a set of Ordnance Survey Maps on which monuments are marked. The RMP is available for consultation at the planning counter of the Local Authority, in Libraries, in the Department of the Environment Heritage and Local Government (DOEHLG) and in the National Museum. The Dublin City Development Plan map also shows all the sites and places of archaeological interest marked on the RMP.

How do I know if my development site is within or close to a Monument?
You should consult the RMP for Dublin and the Dublin City Development Plan Map.  If you are unsure send your query along with a clearly marked site location map to the City Archaeologist’s Office.

I would like to apply for planning permission for a site marked in the RMP, where could I get some pre-planning advice?
You can contact the City Archaeologist's Office directly or through the Planning Department with your query or to request a meeting.

What sort of conditions relating to archaeology can be attached to a grant of planning permission?
Individual planning conditions vary, but most often they require an initial assessment of the archaeological potential of the site prior to the commencement of construction work. The assessment enables the City Archaeologist (in conjunction with the DOEHLG) to determine an appropriate mitigation strategy thus lessening the impact of the development on the archaeology.

Who pays for the costs associated with archaeological planning conditions?
The developer bears the full costs relating to archaeological assessment and any necessary mitigation work, including excavation.

Who carries out the archaeological requirements of planning conditions?
Suitably qualified archaeologists acting under licence to the Minister for the Environment Heritage and Local Government carry out all archaeological work.

Where can I find an archaeologist?
The National Monuments Service compiles a list of archaeologists. A copy of this list can be obtained from the City Archaeologist’s Office.

What is preservation in situ?
The physical preservation of archaeological features.

What is preservation by record?
The scientific recording of archaeological features prior to their destruction.

Do I own the artefacts uncovered in excavations on my site?
No, archaeological objects are by law the property of the State.

What do I do if I find an archaeological feature or artefact on my property?
Leave the feature or artefact where it is and contact the City Archaeologist’s Office for advice. By law you should contact the Director of the National Museum or the National Monuments Service within 48 hours of your discovery.

For more information

Tel: (01) 222 2094
Fax: (01) 222 2271

E-mail: archaeology@dublincity.ie