Further research

The Artefacts from the Sea pilot study focused upon existing collections and records of sites and finds, rather than seeking new reports of discoveries from the public. However, the data collated during the course of this project emphasises the key role that the general public has played in bringing artefacts to the attention of archaeologists. The Michael White collection, for example, is testament to the impact that individual members of the public can have on the data available to archaeologists. There is substantial scope, therefore, for further projects to heighten awareness of the need to report finds from coastal and marine contexts, and for recording collections belonging to the private individuals.
In 2005, Wessex Archaeology developed a Protocol for Reporting Finds of Archaeological Interest for English Heritage. The Protocol focuses on finds made by members of staff employed by aggregate dredging Companies, on board dredging vessels, and at wharves. Wessex Archaeology has been commissioned to provide an Implementation Service to facilitate use of the Protocol by the marine aggregate industry.
In facilitating the reporting and recording of artefacts from the sea and by incorporating such data within the NMR, SMRs and HERs, it is hoped that our knowledge of coastal and seabed archaeology can be expanded to better inform archaeological assessments for coastal and marine EIAs.