A3 Archaeological survey of the project sites

Arheoloogilised uuringud Akali asulakohas. Foto: L. Jaanits

Photo: Lembit Jaanits

It is established practice for projects that involve large-scale soilworks to first conduct archaeological surveys on work areas. The practice of archaeological surveys reduces or even eliminates the risk of finding heritage objects during soilworks. Surprise finds could cause unplanned changes in project workflow, which could impose additional costs or significant delays.

Although wetlands are not typical environments for archaeological fieldworks, several monuments of considerable scientific value have been found on them. The types of possible monuments include the Stone Age settlement sites (eg. Mõrdama, Unakvara found recently), sacred sites (eg Miila Hiiemägi in Sirtsi Mire), iron-ore processing sites (including couple of them close to Sirtsi and Tudusoo mire), wetland retreat sites (including two in Tudusoo mire).

As shown in given examples, there are several protected archaeological sites in close vicinity of the project area, which makes the probability of finding new monuments quite high. In case of conducting a prior archaeological survey, it would be possible to use the results of the survey for planning the soilworks.

Archaeology is known to be a popular topic in different news channels. The results of surveys and excavations are often presented in media publications from local newspapers and radio shows to popular science journals. Although the outcome of survey can’t be predicted, any possible archaeological finds could be published in news channels and would considerably help to raise awareness of the project. The results of the surveys will also be later published by archaeologists involved.

The results of archaeological survey and also information about known monuments will be included in popular and educational materials produced during the project.

By end of 2015 archeological survey plans for each project site will be compiled based on the currently available information and maps. By end of 2016 archeological field surveys for each site will be carried out. Archaeological reports for each site will be compiled by mid 2017. The monitoring of soilworks continues throughout the project and the archaeological reports will be updated (if needed) during 2019. Archaeological/heritage related information for each project site will be available at the web page since the beginning of 2016 and this is included in restoration plans (in Estonian) under special sub-paragraph. This section will be updated continuously as the new information is gathered during the remaining project period.