Archaeology and the A303
Archaeological investigation is an important part of preparing to build a road scheme like ours and absolutely crucial for us as we’re working in a World Heritage Site.
We’ve carried out a huge amount of archaeological work already - over and above anything Highways England has ever done before at this stage of a project - recognising the enormous importance of the World Heritage landscape surrounding Stonehenge. This has already helped to shape the development and design of the scheme, and make sure the new road disturbs as little archaeology as possible.
Before we start to build, our archaeologists will carefully and sensitively excavate and record what’s beneath the surface.
Anything that is uncovered will be properly investigated to the highest standards and treated with dignity, care and respect.
We’re also planning a major community programme so that local people, visitors and enthusiasts will be able to learn more about their heritage and the archaeology of this area.
Guided by experts
We know the Stonehenge landscape is special and needs to be treated with respect.
Right from the start we’ve been consulting with a wide range of renowned archaeologists and professional heritage specialists.
Our heritage monitoring advisory group brings together experts from Historic England, Wiltshire Council Archaeology Service, National Trust and English Heritage. There’s also our A303 scientific committee, a group of independent eminent archaeologists with specific Stonehenge expertise and diverse views about the project.
We’ve recently appointed Wessex Archaeology – acknowledged as one of the best in their field – as our archaeological specialists. With decades of experience of working in and around the World Heritage Site, they’re local and have been investigating the route from the early stages of the project.
They’ll soon be starting the main phase of fieldwork which will see around 100-150 archaeologists on site and last approximately eighteen months.