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Quest is a well-established commercial enterprise within the at the University of Reading. We provide an expert Archaeological and Environmental Science service to archaeological units, environmental consultancies and government organisations. We are a CIFA registered organisation.

Our History

In 1995 Dr Nick Branch and Dr Chris Green were asked to undertake some palaeoenvironmental drilling work within and around London. The output was well received and ArchaeoScape was born. When Nick relocated to the University of Reading in 2008, the team moved too and ArchaeoScape became Quaternary Scientific (Quest). Twenty years later, Nick, now head of SAGES at the University of Reading, still has strong links with Quest. Chris is still our senior Geoarchaeologist. In fact all of our core staff have been trained directly by Nick or Chris and have been with the company for at least 5 years.

20 years of experience

Over the last 20 years, members of Quest have been involved in a wide range of urban and rural projects, both in the UK and abroad. Our well-qualified, longstanding team, has a wealth of experience in the field of pre-development investigation and can manage your project from initial set up and design, right through to publication.

The business has expanded to include a network of specialist and technical staff that service all aspects of archaeological and environmental science contract work. Quest therefore provides a hassle-free solution for all your needs, at competitive prices.

We have a sound record of delivering high quality results, efficiently, on budget and on time. We are happy to take on projects at any stage of the planning process and will provide a bespoke quote within two days where possible. With over 100 clients worldwide, spanning a range of disciplines and sectors, we pride ourselves on our strong client relationships and the individual care we show each project, big or small.

Support and training

Quest also provides teaching, field and laboratory support to students and research support to academic staff at the University of Reading. Quest placements are available within SAGES, providing experience and training for undergraduate and masters students, enhancing employability in aspects of archaeological and environmental science. By providing these opportunities Quest hopes to provide the experience and skills needed for the next generation of archaeological and environmental scientists.


'Quest have consistently shown themselves to be at the forefront of developing geo-archaeological investigation techniques and have a proven track record in delivering quality fieldwork and reporting to the highest standards.

'Our work together along the lower Thames has unlocked data on a sequence of past environments of regional to national importance.'

Duncan Hawkins, BA, (Hons), MSc, FSA, MCIfA

Director Archaeology, CgMs Consulting


'It is a long time since I have read such a well written and presented report'

Peter Reeves BA (Jt Hons) MCIfA

Senior Archaeological Consultant, CgMs Consulting

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Contact us

Archaeological Science:

Rob Batchelor

+44 (0) 118 378 8941;

+44 (0) 7734 530 438 

Hester Crothers

Mike Simmonds  

+44 (0) 118 378 8853

Rhys Timms


Postal Address:

Quaternary Scientific, School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science (SAGES),
The University of Reading, Whiteknights, PO Box 227, Reading, RG6 6AB, UK

Our courses

Undergraduate courses

Postgraduate Taught Courses

Postgraduate Research