Page last updated at 16:35 GMT, Saturday, 17 January 2009

Ridgeway excavation film released

Roman skeleton
Roman skeletons were found on the Ridgeway

A short film showing the findings of an archaeological dig on the site of a planned 87m relief road in Dorset has been released.

More than a dozen skeletons, thought to be up to 6,000 years old, were found by Oxford archaeologists working at the site on the Ridgeway, near Weymouth.

Excavations took place before Christmas ahead of the construction of the controversial Weymouth relief road.

The new route is set to improve access to the Olympic sailing centre for 2012.

The film showing the archaeological investigation was produced by Dorset County Council and is available to view on its website.

Ritual activity

A 5.1-hectare wide site was stripped, making it the largest excavation of the Ridgeway for many years, the council said.

The area is known to have been important for prehistoric ritual activities and archaeologists also found pits, cist burials, Roman skeletons and a round barrow.

Geoffrey Brierley, council cabinet member for transport, said: "The advance archaeology on the Ridgeway was one of the first phases of work on the Weymouth relief road and was extremely visible from the road.

"We have created this short film so that residents can see close-up the work that the archaeologists undertook."

All the finds have been taken back to Oxford to be catalogued and will eventually be returned to Dorset where they will be put on display in a museum.

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