Methodology

The project consisted of four phases:
 
Phase 1: Preparation and Promotion. The first phase of the project started with a review of similar/related projects to highlight the best ways to engage with marine stewards, developing project tools and materials, raising awareness of the project and preparations for fieldwork including creating a shortlist of potential community engagement locations.
 
Phase 2: Community Engagement Fieldwork. The second phase focused on community engagement, undertaken by the project outreach team. This included meeting local community members and acquiring information about potential maritime archaeological sites. The outreach team also arranged lectures that were followed by discussions with engaged members of the public. The information acquired during this phase was gathered in a database to inform Phase 3 of the project.
 
Phase 3: Site investigation Fieldwork. This phase of the project tested, or verified, the sites reported in Phase 2, and also included archaeological investigation, mainly through diver survey. A team of maritime archaeologists using SCUBA arranged to visit a selection of sites, and invited the people who had reported the site and others to participate in the fieldwork. In addition, an aerial survey explored a complex series of intertidal features, and was followed by an intertidal survey from Wessex Archaeology together with representatives of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS). 
 
Phase 4: Analysis & Dissemination. Phase 4 of the Project began in 2016 and focusses on the analysis and interpretation of the data acquired through the fieldwork and the subsequent dissemination. Maritime archaeologists studied and interpreted all data acquired, and directly added the data to the RCAHMS National Database. In addition, the maritime archaeologists maintained a constant dialogue with community participants, providing professional interpretations of the sites and artefacts reported as soon as they became available, directly through phone calls, emails and face-to-face meetings as well as indirectly, through online blogs, social media and ultimately through the final reports. The use of online media allows for a wider range of people to become new participants in the project, even if peripherally, as the project seeks to ensure public access to new and enhanced knowledge of Scotland’s marine historic environment. In some cases, the project team can return to communities to give presentations about the overall results and to discuss, in person, the sites discovered and recorded.