Byline: Tony Henderson
APROJECT is planned to involve hundreds of people in the discovery of a world heritage site on their doorsteps. Organised by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums (TWAM), what could be the biggest community archaeology project to take place in the region would see more than 500 people taking part in excavations, events and research into the eastern section of Hadrian's Wall.
This would cover the Wall from its starting point in Wallsend in North Tyneside to the Tyne Valley in Northumberland.
The scheme has been awarded an initial pounds 10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund so that a detailed plan can be worked up. TWAM is seeking pounds 410,000 from the HLF towards the pounds 550,000 project.
It would involve people, especially in urban areas, researching information on the Wall in their area, geophysical surveys, excavations and field walking for clues in more rural parts leading to exhibitions, booklets and interpretation panels.
Paul Bidwell, project executive and senior manager at TWAM Archaeology, said: "It is well known that the Wall begins at Wallsend and stretches for 73 miles to the west. But how many people know that there are the remains of a Roman fort in Benwell, or that Newcastle's Westgate Road follows the route which Hadrian's Wall once took? "There is enormous public interest in archaeology and we want to tap into that. We hope that people will be able to develop new skills, take part in excavations and research, and ultimately find out more about one of our region's most important historic sites.
"The eastern section of the wall is an under-exploited resource and there has been very little involvement by local communities with the Wall. …