Archaeologists hunt for buried treasure

ANYONE who has driven along the Princes Highway from Nowra to Berry recently might have seen a tent on the side of the road or in the paddock with a hive of activity around it and wondered what was going on.

It is archaeological work being carried out for the Berry bypass.

Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) is carrying out field investigations for the proposed Berry to Bomaderry upgrade south of the Berry bypass project. 

Investigations involve assessing locations of potential Aboriginal significance as part of the Review of Environmental Factors for the project, including consultation with Aboriginal stakeholders about cultural heritage. 

Investigations are being carried out near the intersection of Princes Highway and Ison Lane. 

Up to 16 technical specialists, including archaeologists and Aboriginal site officers working in two teams, are carrying out these investigations. 

The teams take soil samples from a host of pits along the proposed route, which are then processed for any possible artefacts.

Some artefacts, including Aboriginal slate stones have been found, while evidence of European activity has also been discovered.

Found artefacts are analysed by archaeologists to help understand the way they were manufactured and used and also to build knowledge about how they relate to the varying landforms in the project area.

Investigations and field work started on October 2 and are expected to be completed by the end the month, weather permitting. 

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