Works on the new single living accommodation at Larkhill Garrisons have unearthed an archaeological surprise, dating back thousands of years.
Three burial grounds, pottery and worked flint dating back to the Bronze Age were excavated from the site of a new sports pitch at the Royal School of Artillery.
Video: Wessex Archaeology
The Project Manager for Wessex Archaeology, Ruth Panes explained:
“Prehistoric pottery was found in the ditch fill which sealed the grave, which suggests the burial is also prehistoric. One body was placed in a crouched position and we know such burials typically date between 2400 to 1600 BC.”
Other more modern finds discovered in the pits included five military air raid trenches dug in a zig-zag formation, and the foundations of three military buildings, estimated to have been built in WW2.
Due to the proximity of the Royal School of Artillery to Stonehenge, on Salisbury Plain, an evaluation was commissioned Prior to the works at the pitch.
Wessex Archaeology excavated six trenches and all revealed archaeological features ranging in date from the prehistoric period to the Second World War.
Lt Col David Penniall, Deputy Garrison Commander at Larkhill said:
“Soldiers based here at the Royal School of Artillery are fortunate to live, train and work within such a rich and varied landscape, in terms of both military history and our cultural heritage.
"It is fascinating to learn about Larkhill’s past, as we watch its transformation for the future.”
The artefacts will be documented and preserved as work continues on the single living and working accommodation (SLA) at Larkhill.
Part of the Army Basing Programme, the aim of the SLA is to cater to British troops withdrawing from Germany in 2019, as well as numerous Army unit moves nationally.