Research Archive Arriving on Platform 5:
Channel Tunnel Rail Link Phase One

Researchers worldwide can now gain access to data from one of the largest and most important archaeological projects ever undertaken in the UK, thanks to collaboration between the ADS and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) project.

The CTRL is Britain's first major new railway for over a century, and will run the full 109km between St Pancras in London and the Channel Tunnel near Folkestone. The first section of the highspeed rail link through Kent opened to commercial services in September 2003 and the link to St Pancras will be completed in early 2007.

The Map Search interface: one of the three search interfaces for the CTRL archive.

The Map Search interface: one of the three search interfaces for the CTRL archive.

This huge construction programme has given a consortium of field units unique opportunity to study the archaeology of Kent. Thirty one full scale excavations, along with numerous evaluations, geophysical and standing building surveys, were carried out along the 74km stretch from Folkestone to Gravesham. These excavations revealed a wealth of archaeological evidence including the first Neolithic longhouse to be found in Kent, a Roman villa, a Romano-British cemetery, two Anglo-Saxon cemeteries and a medieval moated site.

The wealth of electronic data resulting from this work represents a major new research archive for the archaeology of Kent and was officially launched at the Society of Antiquaries of London in September.

Anglo-Saxon Brooch from Stone Farm Bridleway. One of the many archaeological discoveries along the route of the of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.

Anglo-Saxon Brooch from Stone Farm Bridleway. One of the many archaeological discoveries along the route of the of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.

The archive has been organised by site, allowing access to site specific data and is accompanied by extensive introductory text for the overall project and for individual sites. Data is provided in a number of common and easily usable file formats (RTF, PDF, CSV and SVG) and each site can be accessed through three search interfaces (a spatial map search, a period search, or an advanced search) or alternatively via a full site list. The archive is integrated into ArchSearch, so users have access to CTRL site level data alongside information from other relevant sources such as the National Trust and the English Heritage National Monuments Record.

Although the ADS has been working with webdelivery of archaeological archives for several years, the CTRL archive is the first time it has worked with commercially-sponsored research on such a scale.

Catherine Hardman and Kieron Niven
csh3@york.ac.uk
kjn103@york.ac.uk

The Channel Tunnel Rail Link Phase One archive is available through the ADS at:
http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/projArch/ctrl/

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