The commissioned work comprised archaeological evaluation of the proposed route of the new road, including the excavation of machine dug trenches, hand dug test pits and extensive geophysical survey in advance of the road scheme. The Cross Tay Link Road will link up the A93, A94 and A9 roads by way of a dual carriageway realignment, a grade separation junction and a new bridge crossing the River Tay and adjacent Railway.
Working to a scheme agreed with Historic Environment Scotland and Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust, the objective of the project was to determine the presence, extent and significance of any known or unknown archaeology with the footprint of the proposed road scheme.
A total of 476 trial trenches were excavated along the route of the proposed scheme, each measuring 25m by 2m. This confirmed the presence of a probable Iron Age multivallate hillfort with an internal souterrain and a small number of additional finds of Bronze Age and Iron Age archaeology. This provided sufficient information to allow a mitigation strategy to be development in advance of any road construction in order to manage archaeological risk.
In addition, geophysical survey and hand dug test pitting was undertaken within the site of Bertha Roman Fort, a Scheduled Ancient Monument. This confirmed the extent of the archaeology and also the depth of topsoil. This information was required to assist with the design of temporary access routes necessary during construction.
The test-pits within the fort recorded pits, postholes, gullies, and a stone surface all associated with the Roman occupation. The evaluation trenches recorded evidence for prehistoric activity in the Iron Age and Bronze Age along the route, including the investigation of an Iron Age hilltop enclosure with large defensive ditches up to 3m deep, with evidence for stone-built structures inside the enclosure.
Red River Archaeology undertook a multitude of responsibilities as part of our role on the scheme and these included:
Our capacity to deploy multiple field teams and plant ensured the critical time frames of the project were met. The successful delivery of the works provided robust information to allow the detailed design of the road scheme and the necessary archaeological mitigation measures required.