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Archaeologists find stones of interest on estate site

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A COLLECTION of stones has been unearthed by a team of UK archaeologists investigating fields in St Clement earmarked for a new estate of 200 affordable homes.

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Five stones, which could date back to the Island’s neolithic past when the dolmens were built, were discovered by a team from the Museum of London Archaeological Services at the former Samarès Nursery site.

The archaeologists have returned to the UK and a report on their findings is expected to be ready next month.

Developer G R Langlois Limited commissioned the site survey as a requirement of being granted permission in June to build 200 affordable homes for Andium Homes – the independent company responsible for States affordable housing – on the 22-vergée site between Samarès Manor and Les Squez Estate.

‘Part of the Planning requirement for the site was that an archaeology survey was undertaken,’ G R Langlois spokesman Mark Le Boutillier said.

‘Archaeologists from the UK have been over for the past two weeks excavating trenches over the whole site to establish if there was any archaeology present.

‘They found five stones of various sizes between approximately two to three feet in diameter located in the northern part of the site.’

The location of the stones was recorded by GPS before the archaeologists filled in the trenches. ‘Once they have assessed their findings they may recommend a further site investigation takes place which would be undertaken in consultation with Planning, Jersey Heritage and the archaeology section of the Société Jersiaise,’ Mr Le Boutillier said.

A total of 26 trenches were dug and the stones were also examined by Olga Finch, Jersey Heritage’s curator of archaeology.

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Ms Finch said she visited the site as she is responsible for monitoring all archaeological field work that takes place in Jersey.

‘I have seen the trenches and some large stones that were found but it is too early to say exactly what they are or whether they were found in their original position,’ she said.

Planning’s policy director Kevin Pilley says once the Museum of London report is complete it will be independently assessed by consultants from Oxford Archaeology, before being sent to Jersey Heritage for comment.

‘We will review the report with Jersey Heritage and decide whether anything needs to be done to further excavate the site,’ he said.

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