WA Coastal and Marine

Coasts and Seascapes

The coast is especially rich in archaeological sites, dating from all periods from early prehistory to recent times. Often, estuarine muds and sands contain traces of landscapes that were entirely dry when sea-level was much lower, but which have been preserved by the incoming sea. Other sites found at the coast were built there to serve specific coastal activities, such as fishing, coastal grazing, tidal mills, shipbuilding, harbours, military defence, seaside holidays and so on. Different phases of reclamation, dating back to Medieval or even Roman times, can make it difficult to work out where the coast once stood. In recent years, archaeologists have started to grapple with the historic character of the sea itself - the seascape - taking account the many different historical events and activities that give it such rich cultural meaning. Archaeological investigations at the coast can be very rewarding, but hazardous! Work has to be planned to make best use of tides and daylight, and special care taken to avoid cliff falls, pollutants, old ordnance and a range of other dangers.
 
Surveying pillbox