THIS WEEK IN 1971: An archaeologistÂ facing the nervous race against timeÂ
Every time the earth was torn up to make way for a new motorway, a nerve-wracking race against time began for a Southsea archaeologist.
For Elizabeth Lewis, the curator of archaeology at Southsea Castle, was the '˜road watcher' for southern Hampshire.Â
Her jobÂ was to find whatever ancient artefacts existed in the newly torn-upÂ earth Â before the motorway was laid down in a Â matterÂ Â ofÂ months.Â
Along the route of the M27 between Portsdown Hill, Fareham, and Bursledon, there was thought to be Saxon or Iron Age remains.Â
They wereÂ under the earth and no one knewÂ about them.Â
'˜When the earth is disturbed during preparations for the motorway, we as archaeologists have our only chance to get at these remains and examine them.
'˜Soon the motorway will cap the stretch of earth '“Â and our archaeological evidence will then be buriedÂ Â and lost forever', said Elizabeth.
'˜We have only got a small amount of time to extract the archaeological evidence we need and wantÂ .'Â
One of herÂ Â finds from the top of Portsdown Hill wasÂ Â a Bronze Age burial urn, dating from about 1200 BC.Â