Unlessotherwise stated, all photographsand plansin the CTRL
section of this issue are the copyright of ~
the development of the methodology for archaeological work.
In excess of 2000 trial-trenches and test pits were dug during the course of evaluation work, criss-crossing the Kent country-
side and giving us a real insight into what lay beneath the ground. This massive level of trial trenching led to approximately
hectares of the 74km (46 miles) Section 1
route requiring detailed archaeological investigation.
Careful programming of works in advance of construction ensured that, for the most part, the archaeologists employed by URS have had plenty of time painstakingly to record the archaeological deposits on those sites selected for detailed work. The remaining areas were then subject to an intensive and systematic programme of watching brief works with topsoil removal being undertaken in such a way as to facilitate the recognition and recording of archaeo-
logical features and with the archaeologists empowered to stop construction works, should features of significance be identified.
When construction officially started in
October 1998, there were more archaeologists on site than construction workers.
Over forty archaeological sites of all shapes and sizes have been excavated. The largest site was a kilometre long, in order to record a multi-period landscape, and the smallest 10m by 15m, to sample a colluvial sequence. A myriad of remains has been recorded, representing all periods, including: Palaeolithic artefacts, a Mesolithic flint working site, a Neolithic long house, Bronze
Age ring ditches, Iron Age settlements, Romano-British farmsteads, a cemetery and a villa complex, Anglo-Saxon cemeteries, Medieval agricultural remains and a moated manor, Post-medieval remains associated with an historic park and World War II pill boxes - definitely something to suit everyone's interest. The level and variety of new discoveries from the CTRL and the recent discoveries by other projects will greatly enhance and probably alter many of our perceptions of Kent's archaeology.
To cope with the scale of the archaeological work required, particularly over the last two, extremely busy years, four archaeological contracting organisations were employed by URS to carry out the necessary investigations: the Canterbury Archaeological Trust (CAT), the Museum of London Archaeology Service (MoLAS), the Oxford Archaeological Unit (OAU) and Wessex Archaeology (WA).
. The research strategy
An archaeological research strategy for the project from London to the Channel was devised by Dr Peter Drewett of UCL after consultation with the County Archaeologist and English Heritage, based on the increased body of data created by the earlier phases of work. The aim of the strategy was to supply a focus for the detailed advanced fieldwork stage and set priorities should the need arise for choices to be made. It suggested ways to define types of landscape organisation crossed by the CTRL corridor, and how such organisation changed through time, thereby managing the risk and focusing resources.
Two overlapping subject areas were highlighted:
a. the evolution of landscape zones and b. a broad period framework within which political, social, economic and ritual themes could be addressed.
Central to the strategy as a whole,
however, was the recognition of the opportunities provided by the project for stripping large areas and being able to examine changing settlement patterns, both spatially and across time. This "strip, map and sample" methodology complements and follows the general approach to archaeology adopted in Kent over the last few years in relation to development led archaeology. Rather than considering the archaeological 'sites' as a string of beads the project tried to appreciate the wide context of this massive linear tran-
sect across the south-east corner of