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The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

Research project: Maritime and marine historic environment research framework - Dormant - Dormant

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The Centre for Maritime Archaeology at the University of Southampton has been commissioned by English Heritage to coordinate the development of a research framework for the maritime, marine and coastal archaeology of England.

The research framework will provide a coherent overview of previous research into the maritime and marine historic environment of England, which will enable long-term strategic planning, inform policy and provide a statement of agreed research priorities within which researchers can shape and seek funding for projects.

In order for this to be both a successful reflection of the current state of knowledge and a vehicle by which the key research questions for this diverse community can be identified, it is essential that all those involved in the maritime, marine or coastal archaeology of England, from the academic, commercial and voluntary sectors, are involved in its creation. To this end, we are inviting as many stakeholders as possible to be involved in the process. In addition, there will be public consultation on each element of the framework. 

Developing a resource assessment and research agenda

The project involves an assessment of our current state of knowledge on a period-by-period basis (the resource assessment) and production of a research agenda outlining the gaps in our knowledge, strengths to build upon and identifying future avenues of research.

The resource assessment process and the subsequent development of a research agenda will be driven by working groups. Each working group, comprised of five to six members and two chairs. The resource assessment and research agenda documents produced by the working groups will be open to public consultation through these webpages, and in addition a targeted consultation group of 'critical friends' (experts and practitioners in the field) will be recruited to comment in detail on them. After consultation these will be drawn together into one Maritime and Marine Historic Environment Resource Assessment and Research Agenda for England, ready for circulation in July 2010.

The working groups (and chairs) are:

Palaeolithic Prof Geoff Bailey and Dr Kieran Westley
Mesolithic Prof Martin Bell and Dr Graeme Warren
Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Dr Fraser Sturt and Prof Robert van de Noort
Later Bronze Age and  Iron Age Dr JD Hill and Dr Steve Willis
Roman Dr Michael Walsh and Dr Pete Wilson
Early Medieval Prof MArtin Carver and Dr Chris Loveluck
High to Post-Medieval Prof Jon Adams and Dr Joe Flatman
Early Modern and Industrial Dr Virginia Dellino-Musgrave and Dr Jesse Ransley
Modern Dave Parham and Mark Beattie-Edwards
Archaeological Archives and Collections Julie Satchell and Duncan Brown

Project Update - Autumn 2010

Following public consultation on the working drafts of the individual chapters in the spring and the project conference in May, the working groups delivered their revised chapters in July 2010. The final draft of the resource assessment and research agenda volume was completed in August and is now being prepared for publication. The manuscript is currently under peer review and publication of a full volume is planned for Spring 2011.

Eighty-seven people contributed to the working groups and the production of the chapters in the volume. This diverse group of specialists from a variety of fields and backgrounds gave their expertise and time voluntarily. The considerable work put into the project by these individuals, particularly the working group chairs, was pivotal to the development of the volume in such a short time, and though there is a very clear need for a strategic review and analysis of the research so far undertaken into England's maritime, marine and coastal archaeology, and the future research areas which need to be pursued, without the commitment of those involved in the working groups this would not have been achieved.   

Project Update - Summer 2011

The 400+ page project report along with four Technical Appendices have been deposited with the Archaeology Data Service (ADS). A more compact publication volume is currently at the final editing stage and will be published by the CBA in late 2012. In the meantime, the Technical Appendices are available for download from the ADS website.

English Heritage's Marine and Maritime Research Strategy

Project Update - Spring 2013 Publication

'People and the Sea:  A Maritime Archaeological Research Agenda for England' has now been published.  The volume considers all aspects of our maritime heritage, from the submerged landscapes created by changes in sea-level over the last million years, to the physical development of the modern coastline, through ports, their hinterlands, and associates maritime communities.  It investigates the nature of seafaring and its associated material culture as well as people's changing perceptions and interactions with the sea.  Chronological chapters, from the Palaeolithic to the twentieth century, all consider key themes, exploring both the current state of our knowledge and priorities for future research.  While the focus is on England, the themes explored are applicable to any coastal community, both in the UK and the near Continent.  Written by leading academics, in consultation with numerous specialists, People and the Sea, provides an unrivalled exploration of our maritime heritage and sets a challenging agenda for future research.


'People and the Sea:  A Maritime Archaeological Research Agenda for England'
People and the Sea

Associated research themes

Maritime archaeology

Related research groups

Centre for Maritime Archaeology

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