Kirkwall Map

This is often the first stage of archaeological investigation following on from desk-based research. Evaluations are frequently undertaken in response to a brief from the local planning archaeologist, in support of a planning application or to fulfil planning conditions.

Intrusive evaluation can include excavating targeted trenches. Non-intrusive evaluation often involves utilising the in-house geophysics and laser scanning capabilities of ORCA.

We will advise on the best approach ensuring that rapid and accurate analysis allows your construction team to formulate a programme and budget suitable for your project.

Watching brief

This approach is undertaken when there is low potential for archaeology to be present on site. This stage of investigation involves the use of rapid recording techniques and is usually carried out in response to planning conditions.

Work programmes are created to fit in with your budget and development requirements.

Building recording

ORCA have gained a high degree of knowledge in the vernacular building traditions of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and we are skilled in characterising and interpreting building features.

Use of laser scanning and photogrammetry further enhances our ability to record rapidly and accurately.


ORCA designs and implements programmes of archaeological work, from excavation through to publication.