Archaeology Report for 2004

Explosive Discoveries
Sooner or later an archaeologist turns up a cartridge case…or a bullet..or a bomb! Whilst working on the Roman wreck project in 1986 an engineer brought in a spherical smelly object the size of a head. The project archaeologist suspected it might be a mediaeval naptha bomb. When shown to the States Analyst he immediately referred it to the police who identified it as the bursting charge from a WW2 shell whose casing had rotted off!

In February 2004, the local bomb squad offered to show the section around the collection of spent munitions kept for reference by the police. We were able to handle bullets, anti-tank rockets, fragmentation grenades, mortar bombs, land mines and German “potato masher” hand grenades amongst other delights. All of course were decomissioned!

The Section was otherwise very quiet during 2004. Most of our efforts went towards supporting excavation and post-excavation work by the Museums Archaeology Group. A summary report of excavations conducted in Guernsey can be found in the “Transactions of La Societe Guernesiaise”, published each autumn.

Rural Area Plan
This year saw the presentation of the States of Guernsey’s Rural Area Plan. Guernsey has no equivalent of “Developer Funding”, as makes up more than 50% of funding for archaeology in the UK. As said before, it also lacks other sources of funding (EU, Lottery, etc). The Section made representations to the States’ public hearings on this matter and made observations on the plan. Whilst some of the observations were accepted and taken on board, the States expressly resisted the concept of forcing deveopers to fund archaeological excavation or post-excavation costs.

Section Poster
Viv Ferneyhaugh has painted a splendid Section poster. This features the Varde Dolmen and a Bronze Age urn in the foreground. An arrowhead, a Saintonge jug, samian sherd and La Grande Mere are in the centre. The Roman ship (commonly known as “Asterix”) cuts a ghostly course through surreal seas at the top/right. This poster now features on the main page of the website.

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Candie Gardens, St Peter Port, Guernsey GY1 1UG, Channel Islands.