The Treasurer's Report for 1986-7 marked the changes in archaeological funding (and thus in archaeology as a whole) of the previous years, when it said: "It is now true that the existence of the Trust, and the archaeological unit, is not dependent on Central Government funding."
Development and developer funding were certainly a growing force behind archaeology. Competitive tendering, normal practice in a commercial environment, would soon start to appear, but, in 1986, archaeology was already having to think about and make changes. Some people (particularly developers but archaeologists too) found the ‘new-style' archaeology hard to deal with. From the Wessex-based, long-term, overview projects that had been a feature of WA's early years, the thrust of much of the new work was towards determining whether:
  • An archaeological site existed
  • If it did, of what date and type
If it did, whether it should be:
  • Left completely undisturbed (in which case the development would either not go ahead or need to be extensively re-planned)
  • Excavated and so preserved by record
  • Partly preserved, partly recorded by means of an excavation or watching brief 
  • Any, some, all of these could be done as quickly, cheaply and well as possible
Of course, the permutations could be more numerous and complicated at any stage.
Out in the field, however, evaluations and excavations were still continuing, including major investigations along the routes of the Dorchester and Wareham Bypasses at Trowbridge, and in and around Reading.