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Explore the Seafloor at London Aquarium

Explore the Seafloor team member Rhonda Steel helps young scientists investigate underwater archaeologyExplore the Seafloor team member Rhonda Steel helps young scientists investigate underwater archaeologyWessex Archaeology staff will be at London Aquarium from the 22nd until the 30th of May as part of the Explore the Seafloor project.

The project, funded by the Marine Aggregate Levy Sustainability Fund, explores work undertaken to protect the marine environment from the impacts of aggregate extraction. Scientists have studied the ecology, geology and archaeology of the four main dredging regions and throughout 2010 the Explore the Seafloor Team will be working with Sea Life centres around the country to present the results of their work interactively.

Explore the Seafloor is supported by a website and later this year our team will be producing educational material and resources for use in schools and universities. Find out more about the project by following us on Twitter  and Facebook, and visit us at events throughout the country this summer.


Twelve New Appointments to WA Coastal and Marine

It is a busy time for WA's Coastal & Marine team and we are expanding our expertise and capability accordingly. Four new staff are joining our C&M archaeology team in Salisbury, three staff are joining our C&M learning and access team also in Salisbury, and three staff are joining WA C&M in Edinburgh.
In addition, our two EPPIC staff have appointments to WA C&M running on from their placements. This is a significant increase in our capacity, helped by the appointment of a C&M Business Manager and additional Project Managers in previous months. Our team now numbers 37 with further support from WA staff in other teams - and we have an awful lot of exciting archaeological projects to be getting on with...

Archaeology of the East Kent Access Road

A new road is to be built on the Isle of Thanet in east Kent during 2010-11. The road will be 6.5 km long and will cross one of the richest archaeological areas in Britain.

Before construction begins archaeologists will excavate the whole length of the route. This will be the largest excavation in Britain in 2010, covering approximately 40 hectares.

The archaeological work is being done by the Oxford Wessex Archaeology joint venture on behalf of  VolkerFitzpatrick Hochtief who are building the new road for Kent County Council.

Visit the Archaeology of the East Kent Access Road website to follow the excavations and to find out how you can join in.

Excavation continues near to Weatherlees Power Station at the southern end of the road scheme.Excavation continues near to Weatherlees Power Station at the southern end of the road scheme.

Help choose the next UK World Heritage Site

The UK Government is preparing a new Tentative List of natural, cultural and mixed sites for potential nomination for inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List, to be submitted to UNESCO in 2011, with a view to putting forward nominations to the World Heritage Committee from 2012.

Applications are invited from Local Authorities and others throughout the UK, the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies, and will be assessed by a panel of independent experts appointed by Government

Find out more on the DCMS consultation website.

Three Facets of Maritime Archaeology

Three Facets of Maritime Archaeology: society, landscape and critique
Antony Firth 1995.
This essay arose from the session 'Theoretical Advances in Maritime Archaeology' at TAG '93 in Durham and was published on the research web pages of the Department of Archaeology, University of Southampton in March 1995.
As those pages are no longer available the essay has been republished here (April 2010) to maintain accessibility: Firth - 1995 - Three Facets of Maritime Archaeology 140410 (PDF).
Firth, A. 1995, Three Facets of Maritime Archaeology: society, landscape and critique. Online. Available

Explore the Seafloor - Wessex Archaeology Disseminate REC Results

Explore the Seafloor
Wessex Archaeology is delighted to announce that we have been commissioned by the Marine Environment Protection Fund (MEPF) to publicly disseminate the findings of four intensive Regional Environmental Characterisation (REC) studies. These studies were funded by the Marine Aggregate Levy Sustainability Fund (MALSF), which is also funding the dissemination project, and cover those areas commonly targeted for marine aggregates – namely the South Coast, East Coast, Humber and Thames regions. Each REC study incorporates ecology, geology and archaeology to deliver valuable scientific information about our seabed, in order that we can better protect the marine environment during offshore work.
Over the coming months Wessex Archaeology’s Explore the Seafloor project team will be meeting with all of the scientists involved in preparing the REC studies, so that we can deliver online resources and public roadshows exploring the project results.
Join the Explore the Seafloor project team at SEA LIFE centres across the country this summer to come face to face with the evidence and explore the science behind the RECs for yourself. Check back for further information and the dates of the roadshows, which will be posted on this website.

New light on Kent's past

Kentish Sites and Sites of KentKentish Sites and Sites of KentA book shedding new light on Kent's history Kentish Sites and Sites of Kent was launched yesterday at County Hall, Maidstone. Finds from the four excavations reported in the book were on display and there was a demonstration of flint knapping from Phil Harding before the book was formally presented to Councillor David Brazier, Deputy Cabinet Member for the Environment and the Council's Heritage Champion.

Councillor Brazier commented 'the range of techniques that archeologists use today is impressive. Experts can look at tiny remains of ancient seeds and say what crops prehistoric farmers were growing. High powered scientific techniques like radiocarbon dating give accurate dates back into prehistoric times. The results are fascinating and all this work has come about because of intervention by the County Council's own archaeological team.'

The book tells the story of four excavations across the county which discovered finds ranging in date from the Stone Age to medieval times. Some of the key finds include a hoard of Bronze Age axes over 2,500 years old found at Weatherlees, an Iron Age farmstead at West Malling with evidence for textile making, Anglo-Saxon buildings at Ramsgate, and a medieval bakery or brewery at Sittingbourne.

Kentish Sites and Sites of Kent book launch: Phil Harding, Councillor David Brazier of KCC, and Keith Jeffrey of Southern WaterKentish Sites and Sites of Kent book launch: Phil Harding, Councillor David Brazier of KCC, and Keith Jeffrey of Southern Water

Lis Dyson, Kent County Council's County Archaeologist said 'Today most archaeological excavations are done before new development. This makes sure that we can find out about the County's heritage before building starts. It might seem unlikely but a water pipeline, a road bypass, a supermarket and a new housing development have each provided important new evidence for Kent's history.'

In welcoming Councillor Brazier Sue Davies, Chief Executive of Wessex Archaeology said that she was pleased to introduce this first volume dedicated to sites in Kent. With a new Wessex Archaeology office in Maidstone, she hoped that the book would be the first of many. She also commented on how three of the excavations reported in Kentish Sites and Sites of Kent had discovered medieval bake houses or brew houses. Dating to between the 11th and 14th centuries this type of building has so far only been found in Kent and appear to be distinctive to the county.'

The book is available for purchase in our books section.

Maritime Archaeology Teacher's Packs Online

Tudor Seafaring Teacher's PackTime Travelling by Water, Wessex Archaeology’s coastal outreach programme, has produced three highly appraised teachers packs that are now available to download online. The packs explore the National Curriculum topics of Tudor seafaring, local history and WW2 through the interesting and evocative work of Wessex Archaeology’s coastal and marine team.
The activities and information in the packs are suitable for KS2 and KS3 classes, GAT groups, extra-curricular clubs, home-schoolers, Young Archaeologist’s Clubs and anyone who wants to learn more about our underwater heritage. They can be downloaded for free from the Time Travelling by Water website, from the learning pages of Wessex Archaeology’s website and from popular teacher’s resources websites such as Primary Resources and TES resources.

Chris Moore appointed WA Sheffield Regional Manager

Wessex Archaeology is pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Moore as the Regional Manager for our new Sheffield office. Chris was formerly Salisbury based where he was Head of the Heritage Team.

Chris’s own expertise is broad and varied but he has more recently focussed on Consultancy, Environmental Statements and the expert witness role. Chris already has a team of twelve in the office offering the full range of services across the north of England, and further recruitment is underway.

Contact Wessex Archaeology Sheffield:

Unit R6
Sheaf Bank Business Park
Prospect Road
S2 3EN
Tel: 0114 255 9774

The University of Sheffield Department of Archaeology and Wessex Archaeology – Sheffield

The University of Sheffield’s Department of Archaeology and Wessex Archaeology are pleased to announce the establishment of a partnership between the two organisations.  Following the closure of ARCUS (Archaeological Research and Consultancy at University of Sheffield), the new partnership with Wessex Archaeology will ensure in the short term that disruption for former ARCUS clients is kept to a minimum.

In the longer term, the Department of Archaeology and Wessex Archaeology plan to work together across a wide range of areas building on the strengths of both organisations. Joint activities will include:  graduate training, student work placements, topics for student dissertations, community projects, specialist analysis and joint research projects.

Wessex Archaeology has now opened an office in Sheffield and the team based there includes a number of ex-ARCUS staff thereby ensuring that crucial regional knowledge and expertise are retained. The two Senior Project Managers, Oliver Jessop and Richard O’Neill, are leading experts in historic buildings and landscapes, and excavation and publication respectively. Wessex has appointed Chris Moore as the Regional Manager based in Sheffield. Chris’s expertise lies in heritage management and especially environmental impact assessment work.  

The opening of a Sheffield office is part of a strategy of regionalisation for Wessex Archaeology and is in addition to their Salisbury HQ and an office in Maidstone.

The main contacts at Wessex Archaeology will be:

  • Chris Moore, Regional Manager Sheffield

The main contact at the Department of Archaeology will be:

  • John Bennet, Head of Department.

Contact details

  • Chris Moore:; telephone 0114 255 9774
  • John Bennet:; telephone 0114 222 2900

Visit the University of Sheffield's Department of Archaeology website.

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