Source: The West Briton
"ARCHAEOLOGISTS have discovered some of the earliest human settlement sites in Cornwall at the under-construction Truro Eastern District Centre, prompting calls for the plans to be reviewed.
Ancient remains have been uncovered in excavations on the proposed site of a new household waste recycling centre on the land, also intended to house new homes, a Waitrose and a park-and-ride.
The remains could date back to the Mesolithic period – as many as 10,000 years ago.
There has also been the discovery of a causewayed enclosure from Neolithic times (4,000BC to 3,300BC), the earliest known enclosure of open space, which English Heritage describes as being "extremely rare".
Other discoveries have included a flint tool factory and other remnants of pottery and materials dating from various periods
The discoveries have prompted Truro Cornwall councillor Bert Biscoe to ask whether the area should be protected rather than built on.
"I have posed the question as to whether these discoveries should lead to a rethink of the site for the recycling centre," he said.
"There is no doubt that Truro does need a recycling centre, but I'm asking whether there's a better site in light of these archaeological finds."
English Heritage has already given its approval for the development on the site during the planning process, but it has been suggested it should rethink the decision.
Ian Hibberd, from the group Save Truro, which opposed the development, applied to English Heritage to declare the site a scheduled monument after news of the finds was made public.
He said: "They just came back and said, 'No' – it doesn't surprise me, really.
"I think there was a mistake made during the initial investigations and excavations on the site; if those had been properly reported I don't think the development should be allowed.
"I know they've said they can cover it so they will be preserved for future generations – should they wish to dig it all up again.
"However, I think they should be protecting it properly and giving people a chance to go and see it and learn about our past."
Mr Biscoe said the archaeology team at County Hall had been "very excited" about the discovery of the causewayed enclosure – especially in light of recent discoveries of similar settlements around Stonehenge.
"This site is clearly quite special and some of the discoveries are really quite something," he said.
"They can tell us a lot about early settlements here in Cornwall and what those settlers did."
In a statement Cornwall Council contractor Cormac, which is carrying out the work, said: "In 2012 archaeologists working at the site of the future Truro eastern park and ride discovered the remains of a prehistoric culture likely to have occupied the site over a long period, from the early Neolithic period, around 7,000 years ago, to the early Bronze Age, around 4,000 years ago.
"The Cornwall Archaeological Unit (CAU) has been monitoring the groundworks over the rest of the development site with the co-operation of the site contractors, Cormac Contracting Ltd. Other small finds continue to be excavated. The monitoring and recording by the archaeological team was always included in the programme so the location of finds has not affected the programme of works for the park-and-ride scheme. The CAU will catalogue their findings and undertake further analysis on the finds."
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