Rīga Old Town excavation searches for artifacts

An archeological dig is taking place at the Doma Dārzs summer terrace location in Rīga's Old Town to search for evidence of any historical artifacts, as the territory owners have plans to build a hotel on the land and the dig is a prerequisite for developing construction plans, according to a Latvian Radio broadcast on March 10.

Tirgoņu Street 1 owners Amberstone group had already dug up the land once before in 2006/2007, and now the archeological excavation continues. According to State Inspection for Heritage Protection representative Alma Kaurāte, such excavation is conducted before any construction in Old Town to check if there are no hidden historical artifacts.

“In 2006 and 2007 the archaeological surveillance and research uncovered the foundations of a building destroyed during World War II. Now they're digging deeper in places where they want to understand what lies beneath,” said Kaurāte.

Amberstone's Communications Consultant Kaspars Līcītis said the excavation should end soon and the summer terrace will be back up and running. Once the conclusions of the dig are ready, the decision will be made regarding what to do next with the territory.

“If something valuable is found there, then afterwards the State Inspection for Heritage Protection will decide what we can or can't do next,” said Līcītis.

Meanwhile the summer terrace is planned to operate for at least two more years. Plans to construct the hotel will begin no sooner than the end of 2021. Public debate will also take place before any construction begins on the location.

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