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Website link to Kent's past

EXCAVATIONS along the route of the Channel Tunnel Rail Line have uncovered thousands of objects from the past history of Kent.

It is probably the biggest archaeological study ever undertaken in Britain, if not the world.

Union Railways, which has been building the lines, has made available all the information unearthed by the archaeologists on a website.

The CTRL Digital Archaeology Archive was launched by Rail Link Engineering's two leading archaeologists, Helen Glass and Jay Carver, at the Society of Antiquaries of London.

The site - http://ads.ahds.ac.uk - covers the length of the railway.

There's information about prehistoric elephants and Second World War bomb shelters, as well as the individual sites that have been unearthed.

Roman villas, long-lost towns, sites of pagan worship, Saxon cemeteries and farms, have been found along the 70 miles of rail route between the tunnel at Folkestone and St Pancras.

The launch was described as the first phase of the project to make the information available. Access to the information is provided from a route map of the route.

What has still not been decided is how the public will be able to see the millions of articles that have been unearthed.

One of the biggest examples is a Saxon mill built at Ebbsfleet about 700AD. Large sections of the wooden mill have been recovered by the archaeologists and are currently stored in Chatham Historic Dockyard while a decision on their future is taken.

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