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Archaeo News 

19 June 2005
High hopes for major finds in the Isle of Wight

The site of Newport's new Pan Village (Isle of Wight) has been identified as potentially one of the most important for prehistoric remains in United Kingdom. A team of archaeologists from Archaeology South East is to carry out trial digs in the area over the next few weeks to evaluate just how important the area is. The work is being carried out to comply with policies in the unitary development plan designed to protect the Island's heritage. On the second day of the dig remains of medieval agricultural and Stone Age flints were discovered. The Archaeology team is in the process of excavating 54 sites and, after the recent discoveries, they hope to find many more artefact
     Hundreds of houses are planned for the site, including a large number of affordable homes but, if important archaeological remains were discovered they would have to be protected. The area around Pan is said to offer huge potential for archaeologists.
     Middle palaeolithic flint tools were first discovered around Great Pan Farm in the 1920s during gravel extraction and were dated to the period where neanderthals, the forerunners of modern humans, were hunting on the land which was later to become part of the Island during the warm periods between the Ice Ages. An archaeological evaluation is needed to accompany any planning application for development of the site because of the national importance of the remains so far found.
     The latest four-week phase of archaeological work started with archaeologists excavating a number of trial trenches. They are also conducting guided tours, site visits and other archaeological events to which the public have been invited. Interactive archaeology workshops are being run for Island schools, as well as a community open day for adults and families when the public can tour the site and meet the archaeologists.

Sources: BBC News (15 June 2005), Isle of Wight Daily Press (17 June 2005)

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