Massive archaeology work for HS2 begins

Brian G Turner

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#1
hs2-archaeology.jpg


The big new northern 150 mile rail extension from London to Birmingham has begun - with a mass exploration of archaeological sites along the route: HS2 begins archaeology work exploring over 10,000 years of British history

The government is keen to put a positive spin on this:

- 1,000 archaeologists
- 60+ sites
- 10,000 years of history covered

Highlights along the line of route include:

  • exploring a prehistoric hunter-gatherer site on the outskirts of London;
  • researching an undiscovered multi-period site (Bronze and Iron Age, Roman, Anglo-Saxon and Medieval) in Northamptonshire;
  • excavating a Romano-British town in Fleet Marston, Aylesbury;
  • uncovering the remains of a medieval manor in Warwickshire;
  • finding out more about the Black Death and its impact on medieval villages;
  • re-telling the story of a Buckinghamshire village through the careful excavation of a 1,000 year old demolished medieval church and burial ground;
  • comparing and contrasting the lives of the buried population in 2 Georgian/Victorian burial grounds in London and Birmingham; and
  • discovering a WW2 bombing decoy in Lichfield.
I know there may be an initial negative reaction about destroying some of these sites by the new rail network, but unfortunately that's common practice in Britain - explore, record, the build over it.

In the meantime, the government has produced a cheerful video about the process:

 
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Robert Zwilling

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#2
It's almost impossible to stop the development of land for big projects. Must develop land, must develop land. Its a way of life. Looking for stuff before you accidentally dig it up in many pieces is big step forward.
 

mosaix

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#4
I noticed Wessex Archaeology are involved in some of this - that's Phil Harding's group, from Time Team. :)

A few weeks back I was looking at WA’s website and he wasn’t listed as an employee.

Perhaps he’s left.

The demise of Time Team was a tragedy. One of my favourite TV programs.
 

Brian G Turner

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A few weeks back I was looking at WA’s website and he wasn’t listed as an employee.

Perhaps he’s left.
He's still listed on the website - you've just got to select load "more" quite a few times - he's near the bottom of the list: Team

And his profile is here: Phil Harding | Wessex Archaeology

The demise of Time Team was a tragedy. One of my favourite TV programs.
Yes - I re-watched all the Roman episodes recently. The early ones could be a little cringeworthy - they were so careful, that in one - upon finding Roman archaeology - Carenza halted the dig until they'd contacted English Heritage for permission to continue.

I think they reached their stride between series 10-18, but 19 & 20 became strangely patronizing and dumb (with sometimes dizzying camera work!) - and of course they'd kicked out Mick Ashton after the producers decided they wanted young presenters.

I'm hoping Father Christmas will bring me a couple of Time Team books this Christmas, especially Mick Ashton's. :)

I also plan to buy a couple of Guy de Bedoyere's ebooks on Roman Britain at Christmas - he seems to be one of the few Roman historians to show an interest in the social history of it.
 

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