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The University of Southampton
ArchaeologyPart of Humanities

Research project: Re-assessment of archaeological potential of continental shelves - Dormant - Dormant

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This project design has been prepared in response to the announcement of the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund by English Heritage in April 2002.

The proposed project will assess the current state of our knowledge and the archaeological potential of marine landscapes for both pre-historic and historic periods on a global basis.

Although the recognition of the high archaeological potential of the submerged sections of the globes continental shelves can be dated back to Sir Charles Lyell (1872) this realisation has been overlooked by generations of archaeologists and historians. Since the mid-part of the 20th century there has been an exponential increase in research into the location, identification and excavation of shipwreck material. By contrast, bar one notable set of exceptions (see Flemming and Masters, 1983), the potential for non-nautical or pre-historic, submerged archaeology has only really been explored over the last decade (eg Fischer, 1995; Coles, 1998; review in Flemming, 1998). However, as explicitly cited by Coles (1998) the majority of this work is 'speculative'.

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