Roman Oil-Flask (aryballos), late 2nd or 3rd century AD, Lant Street

Road Schemes & Linears


A11 Fiveways to Thetford Improvements

The A11 Fiveways to Thetford Improvement Scheme in East Anglia has been long-awaited by both local residents and travellers to and from Norfolk and Suffolk. PCA Central has recently completed a programme of archaeological works on this new road scheme including monitoring of enabling works, watching briefs, earthworks survey, evaluation and major excavations along the 14.5km route of the new dualling of the A11 in Suffolk / Norfolk.

It is clear from the fieldwork undertaken to date that the excavations along the route of the A11 improvements will represent a significant addition to the corpus of archaeological information relating to the exploitation and habitation of the unique Brecklands environment. The archaeological programme has found evidence that the earliest traces of human activity date back to as early as 6000 BC, the area was more intensively farmed during the later part of the Iron Age (after 100BC) becoming part of a highly organized farming landscape during the Romano British period (AD43- AD410). 

All works have been completed within tight deadlines, within or below tight budgets, to high standards. PCA has been commended by our client Birse, the project consultants and Suffolk CC for our flexible approach and quality of work. PCA also arranged a site visit of the works for staff and students of UEA as part of the employability initiatives being undertaken there.  Throughout the early stages of the road building scheme PCA has contributed text and graphics to public information boards, prepared a display of artefacts for public meetings and participated in media releases co-ordinated by the Highways Agency and Cabinet Office. In addition PCA has presented a number of talks to local societies in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk on our findings on the scheme so far. We have enjoyed a very good working relationship with the project engineers and management team, the project designers at Mouchel and SCC who monitored the project.

M74 Motorway Completion Project, Glasgow

PCA and Headland Archaeology set up a Joint Venture (HAPCA) to undertake the archaeology of the M74 Completion in Glasgow, which at 5m (total archaeological contract value) was the largest archaeological project ever undertaken in Scotland. HAPCA was the main contractor responsible for all aspects of the contemporary scheme including plant, H&S, environmental monitoring and mitigation, contamination, air quality, watching brief, evaluation, excavation, public archaeology and post-excavation. The successful, and on time, completion of works to date was ensured by the early legal agreements as to roles and supply of resources, a commitment by both parties to ensure the success of the project, a joint responsibility for all aspects of the work and a flexibility from all parties to deal with unforeseen circumstances. The PCA project manager was Peter Moore.

The two year programme of public archaeology work, run in partnership with Culture and Sport Glasgow (former Glasgow Museums) for HAPCA has included:

The M74 project completes the missing link between the end of the M74 at Fullarton Road Junction near Carmyle and the M8 motorway west of Kingston Bridge near Glasgow city centre. Aerial Photograph over Kinning Street. The Road on the right is West Street, and to the south is the main Glasgow to Paisley Railway. Kingston Biscuit Factory. the rounded brick structure is a flue which moved hot air around the factory to heat different ovens. On either side of the flue are the remains of different floor surfaces.

Darlington Eastern Transport Corridor

In the early 21st century Darlington Eastern Transport Corridor (DETC) was identified as a key transport scheme for North East England. The 3km DETC route runs due eastfrom Albert Hill on the eastern edge of Darlington, following the line of the historic Stockton and Darlington Railway, to join the A66(T). Provision of a single carriageway road along this route was seen as vital step in helping the economic regeneration of the eastern part of the town by improving access to industrial land and tackling traffic congestion on existing roads.

PCA undertook an evaluation of the easternmost portion of the route in 2006, the work being required as a planning condition; geophysical survey was followed by archaeological investigation of 17 trial trenches. The work indicated that the land along the route had been utilised for agricultural purposes during the medieval and post-medieval periods. A flint blade of Mesolithic or Early Neolithic date recovered during the work hinted at earlier exploitation of the landscape.

The layout of archaeological evaluation trenches along the portion of the DETC route investigated by PCA