09 August 2018

Rampion hosts overwhelmingly popular archaeology evening

Two hundred people attended Rampion’s free archaeology evening, hosted at the Ropetackle Arts Centre in Shoreham.

The event showcased the many archaeological discoveries made during the development stages of the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm.

The finds span millennia from the late Neolithic through to the Bronze Age, Roman, mediaeval and post-medieval periods, documenting a hugely significant breadth of the South Downs lifespan.

The event attracted both archaeological enthusiasts and members of the public for whom the project has sparked an interest.

Guest speakers from RSK, Wessex Archaeology and Archaeology South East delivered presentations to an audience of rapt attention. There were also offshore and onshore finds on display, including a selection of prehistoric, Roman and medieval pottery, with various flint tools.

The evening was opened by Rampion’s Development and Stakeholder Manager, Chris Tomlinson, who introduced the wind farm project to a full house. Andy Towle from RSK then went on to describe the methodology behind the archaeology works, which commenced in 2010 with an Environmental Impact Assessment. This was performed to measure the archaeological impact the wind farm project was going to have.

Visitors were fascinated to hear from Alistair Byford-Bates, of Wessex Archaeology, that amongst the offshore finds were wooden and steel shipwrecks, a WWII aircraft propeller, and an 18th century anchor. The captivation of the room was held as Matt Pope and Garett Sheehan, of Archaeology South East, gave their account of onshore discoveries. These notably included the remains of an Anglo-Saxon skeleton, a cross-dyke dated to the Middle Bronze Age, and a medieval salt work.

Jim Stevenson, Project Manager for Archaeology South-East, said: “It was inspiring to see such a huge level of community interest in local archaeology and the history of the area. We were thrilled with the turnout and response to the presentations by the archaeologists and our table showcasing a number of finds from along the cable route.”

Chris Tomlinson, Stakeholder and Development Manager for Rampion, said: “We had such an overwhelming level of interest in the event, that we reached the venue capacity and had to turn some people away, for which I apologise.  These attendees will be given first refusal to attend a second event we plan to host next year, to coincide with the publication of the full report on the Rampion findings and satisfy the great appetite for archaeology”.

More information about the second archaeology event will be announced closer to the time.

Meanwhile, a post-excavation report can be viewed on the Rampion website, accessible via the link: https://www.rampionoffshore.com/environment/environment/archaeology/

 

A full house: an audience of 200 listen keenly to the Rampion archaeology presentations.
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