Diver Survey

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Wessex Archaeology’s Salisbury-based dive team investigated the wrecks identified by Historic England for archaeological assessment. Based on an initial assessment of the wreck site location, depth, conditions on site and access, Wessex Archaeology’s experienced dive team determined the most appropriate method of investigation. Diving was undertaken using either surface supply equipment, with air as the breathing gas, or scuba equipment with air or nitrox. Communications between the surface and the diver or divers on the seabed were maintained with either hard-wired comms or through-water comms. An integrated diver tracking and recording system, supported the dives by accurately positioning and documenting archaeological material visible on the seabed. 
 
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Different objectives were identified for each site, but in general, surveys involved confirming the position, extent, state of preservation and character of the site, and providing accurate positions for material visible on the seabed. Sites of unknown date with wooden wreck structure exposed were identified for dendrochronological analysis and timber samples were recovered and sent to the Historic England Scientific Dating Team for further assessment.
 
The condition of each site is illustrated through photographs, photogrammetry models, videos, site plans, GIS data and a detailed report. 
 
Each site is then carefully reviewed, based on professional experience, with regards to its importance and level of risk, and recommendations for further work, research, or options for protection are developed.