SAMPHIRE

Scottish Atlantic Maritime Past: Heritage, Investigation, Research & Education
 
Project SAMPHIRE is a marine archaeology project focused on western Scotland’s coasts and islands. SAMPHIRE enables local communities to engage with professional underwater archaeologists based in Scotland and aims to support the identification, investigation and appreciation of Scotland’s marine heritage. By working alongside local communities we reinforced a shared sense of stewardship of those underwater archaeological sites.
 
The project has been informed by our experience on the completed pilot study in the Outer Hebrides; the OHCCMAPP produced records for previously unrecorded archaeology. This was done through successful partnership working between heritage professionals and local communities.
 
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Project SAMPHIRE student volunteer Robert Mackinstosh inspects a reported wreck site during dive fieldwork in 2015
 
While phases 1-3 of the project have concluded in 2015, Wessex Archaeology is still hosting the SAMPHIRE website and corresponding with individuals and communities who report maritime archaeological sites. Further Wessex Archaeology continues to hold talks and outreach events related to the project to encourage communities to engage with their maritime cultural heritage. 
 
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Probable wreck of the Monreith in Goat Well Bay, Kirkcudbright - recorded during SAMPHIRE fieldwork in 2015
 
This project has successfully demonstrated that gathering maritime archaeological data in partnership with local communities can lead to discoveries of great significance and can also facilitate the management of these sites, to preserve knowledge for generations to come. As such the project has recorded and preserved valuable heritage that otherwise might have worn away with the time. Further the connection established between archaeologists and the local communities, when properly maintained, results in a lasting positive influence on maritime cultural heritage in the region.