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4 June 2006
Silbury Hill repair schedule announced

English Heritage recently announced the appointment of engineering contractor Skanska to take forward the next stage of repair work to Silbury Hill (Wiltshire, England). Skanska will now begin working with English Heritage to draw up detailed repair plans for the Hill.
     The repairs will tackle the damage caused to the Hill after a collapse of the infilling to a shaft at the top of the Hill in 2000. The brief for engineers was prepared by English Heritage and a team of expert advisors, and its aim is to find the best method for returning the Hill to its original state and preserving its long term stability. As well as permanently infilling the collapse to the head of the shaft, the works will involve the thorough backfilling of tunnels at the base of the hill, and repair the slumping on the sides of the Hill. The chosen method for backfilling is to re-enter the Hill through the 1968 Atkinson tunnel to its centre.
     Skanska proposes using the Atkinson's original supports and additional temporary props to keep disturbance of the Hill's archaeology to an absolute minimum. Archaeologists will be working alongside the contactors to make a record of the internal structure of the Hill and take samples to recover palaeoenvironmental evidence and material for radiocarbon dating. Skanska has worked with English Heritage on Silbury Hill in the past, contributing to the specialist stability survey work carried out on the Hill since 2000.
     The development of detailed repair plans is now expected to take six months. Depending on the outcome of this development work, English Heritage hopes to commission the full repairs by Skanska and announce the start of repair work in Spring 2007. The repair project will be accompanied by a programme of archaeological investigation, recording and sampling.

Source: English Heritage (1 June 2006)

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