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Chester Amphitheatre Project Blog


Welcome to the official Blog of the Chester Amphitheatre Project.

Friday, September 1

and now the end is near ...

Today marks the end of the third and final successive season of excavation at the amphitheatre. In comparison to the previous two summers the archaeology has been very subtle and has involved a lot of painstaking work by both our professional staff and the multitude of students and volunteers we have had helping out along the way. Thanks to everyone for all their hard work through one of the hottest (and driest) summers on record - I think the results speak for themselves!

I think a brief mention should also be given to all the budding cake makers that surpassed themselves this year! Particularly, Jess for the best dressed cake, Fiona for the most ingenious cake, Alex and Julie for lashings of chocolate cakes, David V for the 'starter for 10' cake (that got the whole baking thing going) and Dave M for the beginners luck cake that stole the show!

Lets see where the amphitheatre goes from here ...

Dan Garner, Site Director

posted by Cheryl Quinn at 12:39



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dont forget the lads and lasses of the various roman reenactment groups that have given their time and effots to the project!

4:24 PM, September 01, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What will happen to the site now? Will it be covered over temporarily for the winter, as in previous years - or backfilled for longer protection, as in Trench C? And will there be any more seasons of excavation?

5:10 PM, September 01, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Third and final successive season of excavation..." Oh NOOOO! What about that trench you were going to open in the east entrance? Are the other two trenches going to be backfilled, temporarily or otherwise? I must say that the one that has been backfilled looks absolutely awful!

I know it probably hasn't been decided what's going to happen to the site in the longer term, but I think I speak for many members of the interested public when I say we would like to be kept infomed, including on this website for those of us who are not local and can't visit Chester very often.

12:59 PM, September 03, 2006  
Blogger Cheryl Quinn said...

Site Protection: We will be covering Trench A with Terram and sandbags again for the winter. We are in discussion with English Heritage over whether it should be backfilled as well, similarly with Trench B. Backfilling obviously provides better protection for the remains. However, it is expensive and is not necessarily a good approach if the trench is to be uncovered again soon, for either further digging or for display of the remains. We are starting to look at ways in which the masonry remains of the amphitheatre in Trench A could be permanently displayed and interpreted.

Further Excavation: There is still a lot of archaeology which could be done on various parts of the site. There is a bit more which needs doing on the prehistoric remains in Trench A, and we think the features continue under the baulk to the west. As noted, we still haven't got round to completing the eastern entrance. We also know from the excavations directed by Keith Matthews that there is good survival under the grassed area in the north eastern quadrant of the seating bank. There is also a good case for excavation and display of the western entrance, which lies beneath the courtyard of Dee House. All these ideas are under consideration, and some or all may happen in the future. However, at present there are no funds available for further digging. In any case we have lots of work to do analysing and publishing the results to date.

10:43 AM, September 06, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for that very clear explanation. I appreciate that there is a lot more to archaeology than just the excavation: it just seems a shame that work has to stop when there is such a lot more that could be learned from other parts of the site.

I assume that the bid for lottery funding was not successful - what a pity, I honestly can't think of a more worthwhile project.

9:58 PM, September 06, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello I am an AS-Level Archaeology Student and I think the work you have done is amazing I'm sad to hear this is the 'final successive season of excavation' as I would have very much liked to have come and helped!!

12:03 AM, September 17, 2006  
Blogger Cheryl Quinn said...

Here is the latest information on the Lottery Bid ...

Imperial Amphitheatre Centre Still on Track

Chester City Council is looking at alternative ways of funding a cultural centre after the Big Lottery Fund turned down a bid for a development grant. Had the bid been successful, the city council would have used the money to make a detailed case for a second stage bid for £19 million. However, the council is now turning it sights to other possibilities. Portfolio holder for culture, Councillor Ann Farrell, said: “Although we are disappointed that our exciting proposals to the Big Lottery Fund, which had good local support, were not short listed in this highly competitive round, our plans for the overall scheme are still on track. Portfolio holder for economy, Councillor Reggie Jones said: “The Imperial Amphitheatre Centre will provide a modern, fully accessible facility, which will not only benefit residents and visitors, but also protect this unique site which forms the cornerstone of our culture park programme. We will continue to work hard with all parties to secure this vision for Chester and the North West.”

10:03 AM, September 18, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello to the Archaeology student! Don't despair, there are plenty of other digs and projects going on all over the country where you could get some hands-on experience - although most of them will have finished by now, or be just about to do so for the winter. Where do you live and where are you studying - in or near Chester?

12:05 PM, September 18, 2006  

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