“Those who face the ocean will always be in awe of the uncontrollable power of the waves and the swells, and the inexorable, reassuring strength of the sea’s rhythm. It is an ever-present force or raw energy which has to be contained by the belief systems and behaviour patterns of the people who live within its compass.”
Barry Cunliffe, Facing the Ocean (Oxford: OUP, 2001, 554)
The constantly changing relationship between the land and the sea over the last 100,000 years or more provides one of the most exciting, dynamic, and extreme environments for archaeological exploration.
Here we cover all kinds of submerged archaeology, coastal features, inter-tidal landscapes, shipwrecks, and the effects of sea-level change. Working closely with other research clusters across the School there are a wide range of research projects and the only undergraduate course in marine archaeology in the UK.
All our research projects are used to help train students and are of recognized national and international importance. They are mainly funded by national or local government authorities. The staff in this research cluster work together to provide a broad range of expertise, supported by access to a wide range of technology to enable effective research in and out of the field. The primary research areas are as follows:
Projects within this research cluster benefit greatly from collaborations and exchanges with many other organizations, including: high profile institutions including the British Museum, Department of Material Science, Oxford University, Devon County Archaeological Service, Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology, Mary Rose Trust, Nautical Archaeological Society, National Museum of Denmark NAS Scotland, National Maritime Museum, National Maritime Museum (Cornwall), Poole Museum, Poole Harbour Heritage Project South West Marine Archaeological Group, St Andrews University, York Archaeological Trust, University of Wales, Bangor and Wolverhampton University.