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There have been attempts to present the tunnel as a struggle between ill-informed amateurs and well-informed professionals. It is inaccurate. Indeed, we suspect most archaeologists not connected with the scheme, including those abroad, are dismayed by it. What is beyond denial is that the opposition of both UNESCO and the Government’s own planning executive was ignored.

So there’s scant reason for English Heritage et al to rejoice or self-congratulate. They prevailed only due to Government intervention and have achieved what, on some levels, they must know is wrong. Rescue’s statement, “A sad day for our archaeological heritage” will be uncomfortable reading for them, as will this letter to the Times by 17 prominent independent scholars:

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