Director of Coastal & Marine Euan McNeill and Senior Project Manager Andy Manning, both from Wessex Archaeology’s Salisbury office, spoke about two important projects where archaeology has been protected before or during the procurement of aggregate.
Euan focused on the story offshore and the discovery of 78 Palaeolithic hand axes from Area 240, in the North Sea, knapped by Neanderthals a quarter of a million years ago, whilst Andy revealed the discoveries from the terrestrial site at Kingsmead Quarry, Horton, Berkshire, excavated over many years to reveal a rich ancient landscape.
The extraction of sand and gravels – from quarries and dredged from the seabed – is crucial to provide materials to the building trade and as a commercial archaeological practice Wessex Archaeology enables this, and many other many industries, to protect archaeology – from the planning stages of work, to the completion of projects both on and offshore.
It is clear that archaeology carried out in this manner provides the protection and recording that is needed to better understand our past, and disseminate the information, while at the same time aiding the aggregate managers to continue large scale extraction works without disruption.
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Gemma Ingason, Community & Education Officer