North Sea wind firms could unearth archaeology
OFFSHORE wind farms could help reveal the ancient secrets of East Yorkshire.
Archaeologists believe plans to connect a network of huge wind farms in the North Sea to an existing sub-station in Cottingham 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.
A consortium of energy companies behind the ambitious project have yet to decide whether to lay underground cables from the coast to Cottingham or build overhead power lines.
A proposed route has also yet to be finalised.
But 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.
"Such an approach has paid dividends on both the Easington to Ganstead gas pipeline and the Easington to Paull gas pipeline," he said.
"The on-site aspects of these two major schemes were undertaken between 2007 and 2010 and both passed through much the same landscape within the Holderess Plain."
Mr Evans said before extensive fieldwork was carried out on both schemes, 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 BC.
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."
Posted by thesweetcheat
7th March 2011ce