A multi-disciplinary approach to the archaeological investigation of a bedrock dominated shallow marine landscape

an example from the Bay of Firth, Orkney, UK

Martin Bates, Nigel Nayling, Richard Bates, Sue Dawson, Dei Huws, Caroline Wickham-Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Investigation of shallow-marine environments for submerged prehistoric archaeology can be hampered in many localities by extensive bedrock exposure and thus limited preservation potential. Using the concept of ‘seamless archaeology’ where land-based archaeology is integrated across the intertidal zone through to the offshore, a multi-disciplinary approach is essential. This approach taken in the Bay of Firth, Orkney uses geophysics, historical archive and ethno-archaeology, coastal geomorphology, palaeo-environmental analyses and sea-level science, and allows a clearer understanding of the landscape in which prehistoric settlers lived. While acknowledging the limitations of the preserved environment, we are successful in identifying areas of archaeological potential on the sea-bed for both upstanding structural elements as well as sediment preservation that contains evidence for human occupation. This has wider implications beyond Orkney's World Heritage sites to provide a blueprint for similar studies elsewhere in the coastal zone.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-43
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Nautical Archaeology
Volume42
Issue number1
Early online date2 Oct 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

Fingerprint

archaeology
bedrock
World Heritage Site
geophysics
intertidal environment
geomorphology
occupation
coastal zone
marine environment
seafloor
sea level
Orkney
Archaeology
Archaeological Investigation
science
sediment
evidence

Keywords

  • submergence
  • marine
  • archaeology
  • submerged landscapes
  • prehistory
  • bathymetry

Cite this

A multi-disciplinary approach to the archaeological investigation of a bedrock dominated shallow marine landscape : an example from the Bay of Firth, Orkney, UK. / Bates, Martin; Nayling, Nigel; Bates, Richard; Dawson, Sue; Huws, Dei; Wickham-Jones, Caroline.

In: International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, Vol. 42, No. 1, 03.2013, p. 24-43.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bates, Martin ; Nayling, Nigel ; Bates, Richard ; Dawson, Sue ; Huws, Dei ; Wickham-Jones, Caroline. / A multi-disciplinary approach to the archaeological investigation of a bedrock dominated shallow marine landscape : an example from the Bay of Firth, Orkney, UK. In: International Journal of Nautical Archaeology. 2013 ; Vol. 42, No. 1. pp. 24-43.
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