University of Leicester Archaeological Services

About us

University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) was established in 1995 following the closure of the local authority Leicestershire Archaeological Unit (LAU). We are an award-winning commercial archaeological unit embedded in the School of Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Leicester, with over 25 years experience offering a comprehensive, integrated service for all types of archaeological and heritage projects.

We pride ourselves on our friendly and flexible approach to all our projects, from small watching-briefs for private land owners to research and community projects, and large, multi-million pound mitigation strategies for commercial development. We have an excellent reputation for commercial and research-led projects and have a wide and varied client base, working closely with National bodies such as Historic England, the British Museum, AONB National Park Authorities, UK Coal, Highways Agency, Natural England and the Environment Agency as well as major corporate developers and local authorities.

Our services

  • Archaeological desk-based assessments
  • Consultancy - environmental impact assessments, environmental statements
  • Visual Impact Assessments (VIA)
  • Landscape, fieldwalking and geophysical surveys
  • Historic building assessments and surveys to historic England standards
  • Lidar, GIS and CAD analysis
  • Field survey, evaluation and characterisation
  • Rural and urban excavation
  • Post-excavation and specialist services
  • Community archaeology
  • Publication, interpretation and display

Our team are highly experienced in all aspects of rural and urban archaeological survey and excavation, whilst our post-excavation team offer specialist conservation and analysis of artefacts, especially lithics, ceramics, industrial residues, animal bone and environmental samples. We also have a team of dedicated historic building and visual impact specialists, and regularly undertake environmental statements for road schemes and large developments, as well as providing advice and assessment for landscape and conservation projects throughout Britain.

ULAS has quality assurance, being a registered organisation with the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA), and is embedded within an academic institution which is world-leading in archaeological research and one of the top 10 universities that teach archaeology in the UK.

We work closely with local communities and heritage groups, providing project management, training and academic rigour needed to acquire community funding, and helping them discover and interpret their local landscapes. Our team also provides supervisory and training staff for the University's archaeological field schools, and we regularly offer opportunities for students to get practical archaeological experience.

We also regularly provide staff and expertise for the media, including high-profile projects such as the recent discovery and identification of King Richard III.

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