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Kent Archaeological Review extract

Letter from the Chairman --
Dover and Rescue-appeal for Funds.
by Roger Walsh.

With the rapid increase in the destruction of archaeological sites in many parts of Britain, through development schemes, roadworks, the extractive industries and even farming, the problem has now reached crisis proportions. At Dover, the much needed York Street Diversion is soon to destroy several acres of this famous Kentish port and town. Roman barracks, streets and military installations forming part of two large masonry naval forts; Saxon huts and buildings; medieval houses, structures, pits and so much more will shortly disappear for ever.

What can be done? A lot and everyone can help! The CKA groups are again rallying to the call to excavate, record and photograph before all is lost. Teams of fit, young archaeologists will devote much of their spare time and energy to urgent excavations in July and August. Official backing has been given by the Department of the Environment, by Dover Corporation, by the Pilgrim Trust and several other leading bodies. All have given money, but more is wanted for this work and more in 1972. We ask now that private individuals unable to take an active interest in the tiring work of rescue give us their backing too and make a contribution to our appeal. Together we can succeed and what better opportunity to record for ever a large slice of our national heritage and past.

The preliminary work at Dover in 1970 revealed an unknown Neolithic site (2000 BC); two long-lost Roman military forts defending the important harbour (2nd and 3rd centuries AD); Saxon buildings destroyed by fire (about 8th century AD) and medieval monastic (12th century) and later buildings all part of the complex of history of this, the "Gateway to England. All about the sites were quantities of domestic rubbish; local and imported pottery; drains, roads, cisterns, wells and pits; stamped tiles of the Roman fleet; a fine bronze hand holding the imperial eagle and many other finds of great significance. Quite clearly the prospects for 1971 are equally great so do please let us have your support.

The immediate crisis is at Dover and half of the money raised will go there to pay for heavy machinery to clear the rubble, concrete and obstructions. Later the crisis will occur at twenty other Kentish sites and on hundreds elsewhere in Britain. So of the balance another quarter will go to the CKA. fund for Kent emergencies and the other quarter to the national fund of "Rescue," recently established. In this way your contributions will have long and far reaching benefits and do the greatest good.

All contributions will be gratefully acknowledged and those contributing will be invited to attend special guided-tours of the Dover excavations sometime in August. Those able to contribute 3 or more will also be sent a free copy of the Interim Report on the 1971 excavation. Any individual, society or firm making substantial contributions towards the rescue-work will be listed by name in the final research-report dealing with the work at Dover. Please may we have your generous support?

Donations should be sent to:
The Treasurer,
Council for Kentish Archaeology,
43 Pontefract Road,
Bromley, Kent.

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