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A chance to take part in an archaeological dig at Poppleton
HUNDREDS of York residents will get a chance to take part in an archaeological dig before work starts on new £22 million Park&Ride facilities.
The proposed replacement 1,100-space site at Askham Bar and new 600-space site at Poppleton Bar, as well as an upgrade to the A59/A1237 roundabout, have created an opportunity for the public to become archaeologists.
An excavation has been set up in Poppleton so the public can work alongside professionals in what is believed to be the first such opportunity in the UK.
By the time the excavation ends next month, nearly 200 residents will have taken part, excavating more than 20 trenches. If successful, the idea could be used at other digs in York.
Experts hope it will throw light on settlements in the area and use of the land in the late prehistoric and Romano-British periods.
John Oxley, City of York Council archaeologist, said: “This archaeological project has been designed to explore how members of the public can come and volunteer on a dig and work alongside full-time archaeologists.
‘‘This project, probably the first in the UK to be set up this way, will see if community involvement can be taken to this level on most commercial archaeological projects in York.”
James Mackman, clerk to Upper Poppleton Parish Council, said residents have had letters about the dig and there has been a meeting in the Poppleton Centre. He said: “It’s a unique opportunity for local residents and I think it’s a brilliant idea which hopefully will be taken up by a lot of people locally.”
The council has invited selected contractors to tender for the Park&Ride work, which is the first phase of the Access York scheme to tackle congestion around the city.
Final approval for the work will be sought from the Department of Transport in early 2013 and the new sites should be open by April 2014.
Anyone interested in what has been found on the Poppleton site will be able to find out more during an open weekend on November 17 and 18.
For more details, phone Mr Oxley on 01904 551550 or email firstname.lastname@example.org