Archaeologists look for evidence of a human burial site in Guernsey

Picture of excavation site in Guernsey
Excavation work at L'Ancresse Common Credit: ITV CHANNEL

A largely untouched area of Guernsey has been the focus of two archaeological digs this week.

L'Ancresse Common has a number of ancient burial sites and it's hoped that the findings unearthed will help historians build a clearer picture of life in the island thousands of years ago.

The site was first explored almost 200 years ago. Now a team of archeologists from Bristol have begun excavation work - which they have been planning for two years - to see whether this was once an ancient burial site, similar to others nearby.

Work began on the site this week after two years of planning. Credit: ITV CHANNEL

John Swann, of Clifton Antiquarian Club - the team of archeologists excavating the site - said: "We think it's a chambered tomb. A dolmen. But it's not very complete.

"We've found some extra stones under the surface but it's not taking on that classic dolmen shape at the moment, so we're still working on that, but we do think it's a dolmen." Every find is carefully logged - there has been flint and pottery, as well as a set of car keys and lots of golf balls. Unearthed this week were signs of life from the Neolithic period, like this rock pictured below.

The flat edge of this rock suggests it likely was used to grind grain thousands of years ago. Credit: ITV CHANNEL

L'Ancrresse common has remained largely untouched over the years, so experts are sure the site has many more secrets waiting to be unearthed. Archaeologist Dr Phil De Jersey said: "It's a relatively stable environment, obviously it has the golf course on it, but it doesn't have building, or building isn't likely to take place on it, so it's relatively well protected, but it's still got a lot of archaeological potential hidden underneath it, I'm sure of that." Every layer that's uncovered brings the team closer to a bygone age, but this week's work has just scraped the surface. The plan is to excavate the main burial mound behind the current dig next year.