5,000-year-old artefacts unearthed at development site

5,000-year-old artefacts unearthed at development site

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has unearthed 5,000-year-old monuments on a Ministry of Defence (MOD) site in Bulford, Wiltshire, earmarked for a housing development project.

Around 150 Anglo-Saxon graves and evidence of both world wars were also found on the site, which had been selected as the site of 227 new army homes.

Andy Corcoran, DIO Army Basing Project Manager, said: “The discovery of this important Saxon cemetery was completely unexpected.

“It’s incredibly interesting and early site investigation and involvement of our archaeological specialists has kept this project on track.”

The project is part of a wider £1bn Army Basing Programme which aims to house 4,000 personnel around Salisbury Plain by 2019.

Roughly 1,000 new homes will be created in total, with 2,500 new bed spaces and 250 other buildings being constructed or refurbished. 

Workers from Wessex Archaeology had been doing pre-planning application trenching on the site when the remains were discovered.

Though every grave has now been excavated, some of the most significant finds will be preserved in undeveloped land on the site.

Spear, jewellery and other artefacts were found in several of the graves, which had been dated to between AD 660 and 780.

“Every care has been taken to ensure the archaeological remains on the site have been carefully excavated and recorded, as part of the MOD’s continuing stewardship of the archaeology of Salisbury Plain,” Andy added.

Work on the project is expected to begin in early 2017.

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