And sometimes, just sometimes, it unearths something truly remarkable.
Just this month, workers preparing a site for new homes in Teynham, near the A2, discovered items dating back some 1,700 years – among them a Roman statue of the sea god Triton.
Stumbling upon such items was not a complete surprise. The A2 follows the route of Watling Street – a road which dates back to ancient Britain and was paved when the Romans arrived.
In July, work on a new school in Frindsbury, near Strood, uncovered a haul of prehistoric stone tools – thought to be one of the largest ever found.
Among them was a foot-long handaxe – with some of the Medway Valley discoveries thought to date back a remarkable 300,000 years.
All of which suggests there is plenty more to find, quite literally, beneath our feet.
Here are some of the most remarkable discoveries made in Kent over the years which hark back to a time long, long ago.
The next time you drive to Ebbsfleet International, you may wish to ponder the animals and humans which walked the very same spot.
Because when excavations began in 2004 for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and a need to link the A2 to the then-new Ebbsfleet International, archaeologists made the most remarkable of discoveries.
In what had once been the edge of a lake, they found the preserved skeleton of the long-since extinct straight-tusked elephant. Standing four-metres tall it was bigger than those we are familiar with today.
Alongside it were a host of flint tools. They deduced the scene dated back some 400,000 years ago.
The working assumption is that the tools had been left there by prehistoric man ready to carve the creature up for food. Such evidence of how humans survived by such actions are extremely rare. Had, experts asked, the elephant been lured there by man? Or had some lucky hunter come across it, stuck in the mud, by chance? We will of course, never know.
The site has since been dubbed ‘the butchery’.
A team from the Natural History Museum descended on the site and went on to also discover fragments of bones of the likes of rhinoceros, lion and even monkeys. Times were, clearly, very different back then.
Today the site lies beneath the B259 Southfleet Road – close to its junction with the access road to the station.
When developers planned to build a selection of new homes in Mill Hill, Deal in the 1980s, they would stumble across a find so remarkable it is today on display in the British Museum.
Houses were proposed for the Walmer Way development and, as a consequence, between 1984 and 1989 the Dover Archaeological Group was given the opportunity to investigate the land for anything of historic value. What they found ticked more boxes than they could ever have imagined.
Because among the 500 individual archaeological finds – which dated back to the Neolithic period, which is around 3,000 BC – was that of a cemetery and in one grave were the remains of a man who, today, is better known as the Deal Warrior (or, for many still in Kent, the Mill Hill Warrior).
Buried will a sword and shield, upon his skull sat a bronze crown. It is believed to date back to around 250 to 150 BC. The big question then was just who had this person of clear importance been?
Needless to say, trying to identify someone from an era where records were not kept and social norms unknown proved tricky. But due to certain similarities to other finds around the nation, there are two schools of thought. One is that courtesy of the regalia he was buried with – the skeleton suggests it was a man in his 30s – he may have been some sort of military leader. However, many others believe he may have, instead, been a druid of some significance.
Sadly, the truth remains subject to historians’ conjecture.
As a side note, the area in which he was buried had Roman relics too – with the theory that his grave may have been damaged by the work of the Romans working on the land above his grave.
The oldest human remains ever found in England were unearthed in the 1990s during an archaeological dig in West Sussex. The lower leg bone and fossilised teeth are believed to date around 480,000 years ago and belong to an ancient human species known as Homo heidelbergensis.
But Kent comes a close second with the remains of a skull recovered from a gravel quarry, Barnfield Pit, in Swanscombe.
Believed to be from “an ancestral form of the Neanderthals”, there are three pieces of the skull which date back around 400,000 years. Remarkably, the pieces were found separately around 20 years apart – in 1935 and then in 1955 – and form the top and back of the skull.
The fragments are believed to have been from a female and from an era where she would have seen rhino, hippo and elephant roaming the nearby landscape.
The find was found on what is now Swanscombe Heritage Park while the original skull is kept at the Natural History Museum, with replicas at local museums.
If you live in Maidstone, then you’ll be aware that on the town’s coat of arms is a dinosaur. And it is there courtesy of a 19th century discovery which would go on to forever alter our understanding of the beasts which once roamed the world.
Fossil hunter Gideon Mantell was a doctor by profession and lived in Sussex. It was thanks to his discovery of fossilised teeth that the species of dinosaur known as the iguanodon was first confirmed – although it took some persuading from others who claimed they were fish teeth.
So when he got wind of the significant fossilised remains dug up in a quarry near Queen’s Road in Maidstone he was quick to head to the scene. Workmen had made the discovery after using explosives in the quarry to blow up a rock. What they found was a slab of rock with the fossilised remains of the creature he had named – complete with teeth.
And for the princely sum of £25 (more than £2,500 in today’s money), he acquired the fossil – the first to be discovered – of his beloved iguanodon and started to identify how the bones would have formed the body of the creature.
Mind you, he did mistake a spike for being a horn – subsequently revealed in later discoveries elsewhere in the world to be from the animal’s thumbs which they used to strip branches of trees.
It would take until 1838 and a discovery in Belgium for the first full fossilised skeleton to be found and reconstructed.
Today, the slab found in Maidstone is on display in the perenially popular dinosaur section of the Natural History Museum. While a rendition of what the dinosaur would have been like has been on the town’s coat of arms since the 1940s.
In September 1992, work was taking place to build the long-awaited A20 – part of the Channel Tunnel project – which would finally provide a fast road link between Dover and Folkestone.
With a team from the Canterbury Archaeological Trust working alongside them, they uncovered the most remarkable find.
There in the ground were the remains of a large and well-preserved prehistoric boat dating back some 3,500 years.
The Bronze Age boat thrilled archaeologists who spent a month excavating the ancient vessel.
Explains the Dover Museum: “The archaeologists were aware that past attempts at excavating similar boats in one piece had been unsuccessful.
“Consequently, a decision was taken to cut the boat into sections and reassemble it afterwards.
“It was also necessary to leave an unknown part of the boat underground as its burial site stretched out towards buildings and excavating close to these buildings would have been too dangerous.”
It is the world’s oldest known sea-faring boat and is today on display at Dover Museum after the Dover Bronze Age Boat Trust raised £1.6 million to preserve and display the vessel.