Open Competition launched for Archaeological Survey in the Protection Zone of Daugmale Hillfort

Rail Baltica’s joint venture RB Rail AS has announced an open competition for archaeological research in the protection zone of the Daugmale hillfort in Latvia. As the designed Rail Baltica high-speed railway line and related infrastructure facilities are planned to be constructed near the hillfort’s protection zone, an archaeological survey of the area is deemed necessary before construction works can begin.

This region has a rich history as a logistics hub, and we are pleased that we will be able to continue modern infrastructure development near this place. Additionally, in line with the State Inspection for Heritage Protection’s advice, we will be conducting thorough research to fully understand any archaeological significance and prevent any potential impact on the project’s execution. Such due diligence will save time and reduce risks during the construction phase,” said Ēriks Diļevs, Technical director of RB Rail AS in Latvia.

Visualisation of the Daugmale hillfort (video “Daugmales pilskalna senvēsture”)

During the value engineering phase of designing the Rail Baltica mainline, the Ministry of Transport in Latvia made a decision on the construction of a combined railway and road bridge over the Daugava near Salaspils. The planned location of the Rail Baltica mainline is located less than 500 meters from the hillfort.

“When conducting construction near the Daugmale hillfort, it’s crucial to safeguard both the monument itself and any undiscovered archaeological treasures within its vicinity. The area around the mound was heavily populated in ancient times, which provides valuable insights for archaeologists to uncover. To ensure smooth construction progress and prevent accidental destruction of these heritage sites, a thorough survey of potential archaeological findings must be conducted in advance,” said Jānis Meinerts, a specialist from the Department of Archaeology and History at the State Inspection for Heritage Protection.

The protected values of the Daugmale hillfort include its external appearance in the landscape, archaeological context, intangible evidence, fortification system, relief, cultural layer, burial structure, inventory, and archaeological antiquities. The site is one of the most important hillforts in Latvia and has played an outstanding role both in the prehistory of Latvia as an important trade center on the Daugava waterway and in the 20th century as a site of archaeological research expeditions.

The National Heritage Board of Latvia has issued Technical Conditions for the survey, and the Contractor will be required to carry out the survey in the protection zone of Daugmale hillfort with an ancient town and an ancient burial field, state protection No. 2090. The survey is expected to provide important insights into the history and culture of the region and help inform the design and construction of the Rail Baltica railway line.

The Contractor for the archaeological survey will be responsible for carrying out the survey in the indicative area of planned archeological survey, which is approximately 16.83 ha (168,333 m2). The open competition regulation and all its annexes are available on the project’s official webpage and on the E-Tenders system.

Submission deadline for bids: 12 June 2023, 10:00 o’clock (Eastern European Summer Time)