Senior Archaeologist Graham Scott of Wessex Archaeology gave a presentation at Southend Museums’ Thames Archaeology Day on Saturday 17 October 2015, supporting the impressive work being done by the museum to present the results of archaeological work in the Thames Estuary to the public.
Graham gave a presentation on the maritime archaeological work we have done in advance of and during the construction of the new London Gateway Port. This massive archaeological project, carried out for the port developers between 2001 and 2014 involved the investigation of hundreds of wrecks and geophysical anomalies in the path of the port’s approach channel, which stretches from the port itself at Stanford-le-Hope in Essex over 60 miles to the edge of the Southern North Sea off Harwich.
The photograph shows a deadeye recovered by us during work for London Gateway on the wreck of Charles II’s warship, the London, lost as a result of the accidental explosion of the ship’s magazine as it was being sailed out of the Medway in 1665 during the Dutch Wars. The work carried out for London Gateway helped bring a forgotten wreck back to life and kicked-off a process of investigation that has culminated in the excavation of part of this remarkable site.
However, not all of the sites investigated were so old or famous. As the entire seabed within a wide strip in and around the new channel was investigated, the work has allowed us to investigate ‘ordinary’ boats and ships as well as the extraordinary. In addition, London Gateway has provided the first extensive account of maritime archaeology in the Thames that is based upon actual physical archaeological remains on the seabed of the Thames Estuary, rather than from its margins or hinterland or upper reaches. The project has also had a major role in pioneering the investigative and management methods now routinely used to mitigate the effects of port and offshore development upon our shared maritime heritage.
To fnd out more about this project follow this link
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