Archaeological curators are responsible for the safe-keeping of Britain's archaeological heritage. One of their most
important roles is to assess all planning applications for any archaeological implications and advise planning
departments about this. If it is decided that archaeological works are necessary as part of a development scheme,
then the archaeological curator is responsible for ensuring that this work is carried out to an adequate standard.
All areas of the country are covered by an archaeological curator. These may be based with a county council, district
council or even a town council. It is up to the local councils to decide amongst themselves on the best arrangements
for their area. Most National Parks nowadays have their own resident archaeologists and these have taken over the
curatorial roles from the local government archaeologists for areas within the park boundary. Durham County Council
Archaeology Section is responsible for the archaeology of all of County Durham and the Borough of Darlington,
Northumberland County Council Conservation Team is responsible for the archaeology of Northumberland outside of the
national park and Northumberland National Park Authority is responsible for areas within the national park.
In addition to their statutory roles in planning control, most curatorial archaeologists have many other duties.
They may be involved in such areas as archaeological research, public education and information, and advising
landowners on the conservation of archaeological remains on their land. The Past Perfect website has been produced
as part of Durham and Northumberland County Councils commitment to providing public education and access to
information about their archaeological resources.
Return to Development Led Excavation.