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31 December 2010
Wind farm plan may help reveal ancient settlements in England

Archaeologists believe plans to connect a network of huge wind farms in the North Sea to an existing sub-station in Cottingham (East Riding of Yorkshire, England) offer the chance to unearth dozens of previously unknown settlements. The Creyke Beck sub-station will be the connection point to the National Grid for up to 1,700 wind turbines expected to constructed in a 3,500 square-mile area of sea on the Dogger Bank.
     An expert from the Humber Archaeology Partnership said recent underground gas and water pipeline schemes in the area had revealed over 50 previously unrecorded settlements, monuments and ancient burial mounds. Partnership manager Dave Evans said close liaison between project engineers and archaeologists would be essential over the next few years. Mr Evans said before extensive fieldwork was carried out on two major schemes undertaken between 2007 and 2010, a desk-based survey of known records identified mainly medieval and post-medieval features along the routes. However, geophysical surveys and subsequent trenching and excavations uncovered over 50 Iron Age and Roman settlements and burial sites. Archaeologists also discovered evidence of major flint-working site near Wawne thought to date from at least 4000 BCE.
     In a consultation submission on the offshore wind farm scheme, Mr Evans added: "Precisely because the current proposed cable trenches would pass through much the same landscape, a similar density of archaeological settlement, funerary and early agricultural activity may be expected. "It is clear that any proposed developments within this large area would have substantial archaeological implications, some of which would be readily apparent from visible and recorded remains, others of which may be currently masked beneath the surviving medieval landscape."

Edited from East Riding Mail (29 December 2010)

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