Maritime Archaeology Updates

Diving Deeper with the Maritime Archaeology Trust

Tag: MAT

Bouldnor Cliff Day One: 14/06/16

The MAT Bouldnor Cliff dive team 2016

Just off the Isle of Wight is the site of Bouldnor Cliff. Bouldnor Cliff was a Mesolithic settlement, dating to 8,000 years ago. The finds from this site include worked timber and flints, and show that the inhabitants were using technology that was 2,000 years more advanced than expected in a site of this age!

The Mesolithic site is about eleven metres below the surface, and is part of the Solent Maritime Special Area of Conservation. Sadly, the tides of the Solent are eroding the site. More material is constantly being exposed, and subsequently is being threatened. The Maritime Archaeology Trust is working hard to monitor the site’s condition, and to recover material that is coming under threat.

The MAT is carrying out dives to create a record of the site, to document any changes that are taking place, and any exposed material. It is important to make frequent records of the site, and the plan is to use photogrammetry to create a 3D model. Divers first make a ‘pre-disturbance survey’, in order to ensure that the site is properly catalogued before making and changes or disturbing anything. Once the researchers are confident that there is a good record of the site and its contents, they are able to examine and rescue artefacts, and bring them to the surface for further study. These can be compared with the plan, in order to make note of where the artefacts were find, and piece together the site: a bit like putting together a big puzzle.

The divers set up a baseline at the site, in order to carry out the recording. A photographic survey was undertaken, to record the newly exposed features and document the site in its current condition, before any further work.

The first thing seen by the divers as they approached the site was some newly exposed timber, protruding from the bank. This timber was not visible last year, and has been revealed by the erosion. It appeared to have been worked, and looks like it may even be the remains of a platform. Later dives will aim to further study these timbers, and rescue them.

A later dive revealed a fellow archaeologist digging at Bouldnor Cliff: a lobster, with a collection of worked flints outside his burrow. Lobsters are frequent visitors to the site, and often turn up flints such as these. With the lobster’s help, the next dive recovered five small worked flints, and they were brought to the surface and inspected for the first time in 8,000 years.

The first day was a grand success, with four dives in total. The last of these dives included two new visitors; volunteers from Egypt who had come to see the site and assist in the photogrammetry. They were very impressed with what they saw, and can’t wait to return to the site and continue their study. The work at Bouldnor Cliff will continue, to ensure that the site is safe, any threatened material is recovered, and that we learn everything we can from this exciting site.

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Garry Momber talks Bouldnor Cliff
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Bouldnor Cliff #3 – Sunken Secrets

This is the last video before we go out diving!

This time Garry is visiting the Sunken Secrets Museum on the Isle of Wight. He shows us various pieces of timber, flint and string that has taught us a lot about the people living here during the mesolithic era. The findings are proving to be highly important, because they show the people were way more advanced than previously thought, by as much as 2000 years.

 

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Bouldnor Cliff #2 – past findings and discoveries

Our second video is out!

This time Sara Rich shows us some timber from earlier Bouldnor excavations and tells us what we can learn from them.

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Bouldnor Cliff #1 Where and what is it?

Take a look at our latest video!

Garry is on the Isle of Wight discussing what we find at Bouldnor Cliff. He shows us what the submerged forests look like and what we can learn about England in the mesolithic era, emphasising the importance of this site.

We are doing our best to retrieve as much as we can before it all erodes away.

You can help us save Bouldnor Cliff.

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Across the Seas: French Megaliths in 3D

Hello again,

We have been in France researching La Roche Longue, which is a megalith (menhir) located southeast of Quintin, France. We have worked on developing a 3D model of this stone and its surrounding landscape. The model is derived from UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), commonly known as drone, images, and constructed using photogrammetry. Using a drone allows us to capture detailed images of these large stones which would otherwise be difficult to get from the ground.

La Roche Longue, Quintin, Brittany
by Maritime Archaeology
on Sketchfab

A second 3D model we have been working on is of Allée couverte de Mein-Gouarec à Plaudren. It is a passage grave located near the village of Plaudren in France. Dated around 4,500-4,300 BP, it is a late neolithic piece around 6 meters in length. The tomb features engravings representing the Mother Goddess, including carved out breasts on the back wall. This site was recorded in January this year, using Nikon D200 and D7000 cameras.

Allée couverte de Mein-Gouarec à Plaudren
by Maritime Archaeology
on Sketchfab

 The images are all collected as part of the Common Cultural Connections project. The CCC project is a collaboration between MAT in the UK, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in France and University of Cantabria in Spain. The aim of the project is to enhance the understanding of the shared cultural heritage through an innovative mobile exhibition. Read more about the project here

Common Cultural Connections

Stay tuned for more about the exciting life of the Maritime Archaeology Trust! 

Welcome

 

Hi everyone,

We are the Maritime Archaeology Trust, a charitable trust that researches maritime archaeology and heritage. We are forward thinking professionals and researchers who seek to utilise traditional archaeological techniques with new innovative ideas, techniques and technologies. To do this, we combine historical and archaeological studies, with state-of-the-art geoarchaeology, digital technology and 3D modelling.

 

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