WITH brushes, tape and artefact bags at the ready Winchester school children have been delving into the past of Barton Farm.

Year 9 students from Henry Beaufort who proved their talents were invited to the CALA Homes development site for an archaeological dig to investigate remains spanning over 4,000 years.

Pupils identified as gifted in subjects including science, technology, engineering and maths were selected to help uncover the mysteries of the new 2,000-home development – some of which dates back to pre-historic times.

David Creed, one of the school’s maths teachers, said: “The students found the visit incredibly interesting, particularly being able to experience the everyday life of an archaeologist. The weather wasn’t great but I think that this added to the whole experience and enjoyment for the students. I believe that many left the visit considering the possibility of archaeology as a potential path to follow into further education.”

CALA Homes has been working with a team from Pre-Construct Archaeology Ltd for several months, who have found the earliest discovery on the site to be a human burial dating back to the Bronze Age. Known as a ‘beaker’ burial, it is named after the pottery vessel buried in the grave around 4,000 years ago.

PCA’s Project Manager Paul McCulloch says, “The archaeological investigation has demonstrated just how long people have been using parts of Barton Farm, to bury their dead, as a place of settlement and for a military camp in the 18th century. The dig at Barton Farm has revealed important archaeological evidence in advance of the new housing development and we are grateful for the support CALA Homes have provided to make sure a proper record of that evidence has been made.”