Fragments of long-forgotten Roman and Iron Age moments in history have been unearthed by archaeologists working on the Dogger Bank Wind Farm.
Specialists from AOC Archaeology Group have been carrying out extensive excavations along the cable route in East Yorkshire, for the first two phases of the project since 2018, and are now starting to build a picture of life on the land thousands of years ago.
“So far we’ve found a lot of Iron Age and Roman archaeology, including evidence of rural settlements, enclosures and field systems,” explained Stephen Potten, who manages AOC Archaeology’s York office and is leading the work.
“There’s some structural evidence that may relate to buildings and considerable quantities of domestic pottery. The Dogger Bank project is certainly giving us a great opportunity to gain a better understanding of Iron Age and Roman settlements in the area.
“We’ve always known there were settlements in this area but our excavations are shedding more light on how extensively the area was occupied and how communities interacted with the landscape. The evidence we’ve unearthed suggests that the area was home to busy, thriving communities during the Iron Age and Roman periods.
“As well as pottery, a number of settlements have produced ironwork, animal bone and some evidence of industrial work too. This material helps us to understand what activities were taking place in the Iron Age and Roman periods, and how widespread they were.
“We’ve found some fantastic Roman pottery, often just discarded in ditches and pits. All these artefacts are now in the process of being cleaned and examined by specialists, who’ll be able to tell us if there are any unusual or rare forms and perhaps help us identify any high-status objects. It’s also possible some of the pottery was imported, and this could tell us a lot about trade links and commerce thousands of years ago.”
Archaeological work is set to continue at locations along the Dogger Bank A & B cable route into 2021.
Dogger Bank Wind Farm Consents Team Manager Jonathan Wilson, said: “The archaeological work taking place on the Dogger Bank Wind Farm cable route is a vital part of our work as a responsible developer. It is a great privilege to be able to unearth this fascinating history of the area as we work to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm, which will provide renewable energy for 6 million UK homes.”
About Dogger Bank Wind Farm:
- Dogger Bank Wind Farm will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm when completed in 2026.
- It is being built in three phases: Dogger Bank A, B and C.
- Dogger Bank A and B is a joint venture between SSE Renewables (40%), Equinor (40%) and Eni (20%). Dogger Bank C is a 50:50 joint venture between SSE Renewables and Equinor.
- SSE Renewables is lead operator for the development and construction of Dogger Bank Wind Farm. Equinor will be lead operator of the wind farm for the duration of the wind farm’s operational phase
- Financial Close on Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B was reached in November 2020. Financial Close for Dogger Bank C is expected in late 2021.
- Consent for Dogger Bank Wind Farm was granted in 2015.
- Dogger Bank Wind Farm is located in the North Sea, with each phase more than 130km from the Yorkshire Coast.
- Onshore construction began in 2020 and is currently underway for Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B, with offshore construction on Dogger Bank A due to begin in Q2 2022. First power is expected in Summer 2023 and Summer 2024 for Dogger Bank A and B, respectively, with commercial operations to follow around 6 months later.
- Turbine installation for Dogger Bank C will begin in 2025.
- A total of 320 skilled jobs for the North East of England associated with the development and operation of Dogger Bank Wind Farm have been announced so far.
- This includes 120 skilled jobs at marshalling harbour Able Seaton Port in Hartlepool during construction, and 200 skilled jobs to be based offshore and at the Port of Tyne for Operations and Maintenance of the wind farm once operational.
- Dogger Bank A and B has confirmed GE’s 13MW Haliade-X as the turbine powering the first two phases of the project. As the first order for the 13MW Haliade-X, installation at Dogger Bank A will be the first time the turbine is installed in the world.
- Dogger Bank C will install GE’s upscaled 14MW Haliade-X turbine.
- One rotation of the Haliade-X turbine blades can power one UK home for more than two days.
- The wind turbines will be installed on monopile foundations.
- The project will be the first High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) connected wind farm in the UK due to its distance from shore.