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Archaeologists investigate city centre regeneration site

Archaeology teams from the University of Winchester (ARCA) and PCA have started work to investigate the ground below the Central Winchester Regeneration area.

Winchester City Council commissioned the work to help inform future development of the site.

There will be 14 geo-archaeological boreholes drilled in carefully selected locations across the site, from the bus station, around King’s Walk and across to The Brooks. Water monitoring from the boreholes will take place over the next 12 months.

Samples will reveal the sequence of deposits in the ground to help determine the history of the use of the site and how it has developed over time. The water levels and the biological remains of things like seeds, pollen grains and insects preserved in the ground can help explain the history of the city and the nature of archaeological preservation.

Cllr Kelsie Learney, Cabinet Member for Housing and Asset Management, Winchester City Council said: “As we look to progress proposals to improve the Central Winchester Regeneration area for the benefit of this generation and generations to come, it is crucial we understand the historic significance of the site.

“We have worked with specialists, interested parties and local organisations to understand the very best way to investigate what remains beneath the site. We are delighted to be working with such a highly respected team to help us in achieving this.”

PCA are a commercial archaeological contractor working all over the country, with a base in Winchester. ARCA are a specialist geoarchaeology team based at the University of Winchester.

Paul McCulloch from PCA (pictured) said: “We are pleased to be working with the team in this innovative and exciting geo-archaeological investigation and are looking forward to the results they obtain from the boreholes.”

Professor Keith Wilkinson, from ARCA, commented: “The test pits and boreholes represent an important opportunity to investigate the thickness and distribution of archaeological layers, and the artefacts they contain.”

Winchester City Council will be sharing updates on the archaeology findings on their website: www.winchester.gov.uk.

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