Blick Mead is once again on the front pages, but this time it is not for some amazing discovery but for the demolition of one.
In 2017 the Blick Mead team carefully and systematically excavated a Mesolithic platform of flint cobbles under which they found, perfectly preserved, Auroch hoof prints in the clay. Aurochs were huge cows which are now extinct but we know, from the bones found at Blick Mead, that they were hunting these huge animals and that the area of Blick Mead was a special place to both animals and people.
Today it has been revealed that Highways England, in their excavations for the tunnel which will run past Stonehenge, have bored a hole straight through this flint surface and possibly damaged the wonderful and internationally important hoof prints below. This was one of five holes that they were intending to drill at the site before former Mayor of Amesbury, Andy Rhind-Tutt managed to stop them. Needless to say a great amount of damage would have been done if all five had been allowed to go ahead.
Prof David Jacques, along with other notable Stonehenge archaeologists and UNESCO, has always voiced his concerns over the tunnel plans which include a flyover of countess roundabout which lies very close to the Blick Mead site. The excavations rely on the water logged conditions of the area, it is these conditions which have held the site in such good condition for thousands of years. The flyover and tunnel plans may lead to a change in the water table which could harm the site.
Prof Jacques states ‘There are thousands of years of history lying undisturbed in the waterlogged ground. It is a miracle it has survived and it would be a disaster if it was lost”.
With this latest incident it is clear that the site is already at risk before the work has even begun properly.
You can see the full story of this here