The biggest archeology project in Estonian history is set to begin in the three counties the proposed high-speed Rail Baltic track will pass through.
Head of archeological monuments at the National Heritage Board, Ulla Kadakas, said researchers first tackled archives and now it is time to begin digs.
Smaller digs will take place all along the track, which will go through Harju, Rapla and Pärnu counties.
Valter Lang, who heads the project, said land-owners should ask to see permission documents from anyone claiming to be part of the project. “We and the Heritage Board have received reports of treasure hunters posing as archeologists, museum workers or heritage board employees. They are pillagers,” he said.
The planning phase of the high-speed link between the Baltics and Western Europe has been going on longer than most can remember and a final word from the EU about funding is yet to be made.
The latest step came on Monday, when ministers from the three Baltic countries, Poland and Finland signed a protocol of cooperation.
“Estonia has been dedicated towards the construction of Rail Baltic. The project is one of the most important transport links in Europe in the next few years,” Kristen Michal, the Estonian Economy Minister, said.
Michal said the protocol adds assurance that the project will go ahead. According to the initial plan construction should begin in 2018. Estonia's part will be 210 kilometers long and will cost 1.2 billion euros, of which Estonia could pay as much as 50 percent. The first decision by the European Commission on the funding question is due next month.
Editor: J.M. Laats