To allow the construction of a road network leading to Sai Kung Town, a large scale rescue excavation funded by the Civil Engineering Department (now named the Civil Engineering and Development Department) was carried out from October 2001 to September 2002. To meet the extremely tight schedule and enormous scale of the project, experts from four mainland provincial and municipal institutes, namely Hebei Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics, Henan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, Shaanxi Archaeology Institute as well as the Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology of Guangzhou were invited to form a joint archaeological team in this rescue excavation.
With an area of over 3,000m², the Sha Ha excavation was one of the largest archaeological excavation works conducted in Hong Kong. The various cultural phases were deposited with well-stratified sequences. Rich archaeological features and finds dating to the Late Neolithic period (c. 2500 – 1500 B.C.) and Bronze Age (c. 1500 – 221 B.C.) were yielded, in addition to cultural deposits of the Han and Ming dynasties. Archaeological features recovered included groups of posthole, stone tool workshops and burials, all give important information on ancient settlement patterns, craft specialization and social organization of the area. A large number of sophisticated stone tools, as well as raw materials and rough-outs were also unearthed. All the pottery assemblages were in well-stratified sequences and are the most invaluable archaeological records in constructing the prehistoric cultural chronology of the area.