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Excavation at Chester Amphitheatre

Amajor dig is underway at Chester Amphitheatre. the largest uncovered amphitheatre in the UK. The dig - part of a high-profile 3-year partnership between Chester City Council and English Heritagewill continue throughout the summer. It is expected that improved understanding of the site. and better presentation of the amphitheatre. will attract an additional 40,000 tourists a year to Chester, bringing E5 million a year in investment to the local economy.

Already, a new overhead walkway stretches across the length of the site; moreover, information points and regular guided tours, mean that Chester residents and visitors can view the excavations close up.

Educational activities, new signage and interpretive material will also help people to experience archaeology first-hand and help make this an exciting community event for schools, local residents and visitors. A'live'web camera has also been installed, providing 24 hour coverage, keep tabs on progress, and view the excavations through the web cam, by logging onto the official website.

All the finds unearthed are being taken to Chester Visitor Centre. Archaeologists are working on them in full view of the public, with exhibition stands and interactive activities to help people learn more about this exciting project. Most of the work is taking place in Area A re-excavating the parts of the site already excavated in the 1960s. However there is also a new trench. trench 8, which is sited in the former garden of Dee House. Most of the work has concentrated on the removal of 18th century Garden features, but a surprise discovery was of the bone handle of a Roman sword.

been three or four times the weight of an average family car. It is hard to imagine early humans successfully hunting a healthy specimen but if it was already trapped in the bog. it could have been killed by early humans with wooden spears and then butchered for its meat with tlinttools.'

The manufacture of flint tools at the same spot. which would have been unsuitable for human occupation due to its boggy nature. almost certainly indicates butchery of the carcass for meat.

Studying the sediments at the site has produced a wide range of evidence about the pre-historic climate and the local environment. The remains of sticklebacks. frogs. newts and aquatic molluscs confirm the existence of standing water. Pollen grains from a number of tree species including birch. pine. oak. elm. alder and hazel. along with teeth from a woodmouse. indicate an interglacial climate similar to. or warmer than. the present day.

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Chester Amphitheatre: II Trenches (year 1) II

Trench (year 2) ~ton Pf'09"tSI in 'YftK r

Accessible scaffolding walkway archaeology BJJ

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