Maritime Archaeology Trust
Over the past 10 years, monitoring the Mesolithic deposits at Bouldnor Cliff has demonstrated lateral erosion of up to 4 meters in the most affected parts of the archaeological sites. Therefore it has been an essential part of the fieldwork to rescue archaeological material that is at risk of immediate loss. In 2016 the Trust retrieved another 24 pieces of worked timber, adding to the collection of remarkable artefacts recovered from the site. One of these timbers proved to be of great significance as it showed evidence of being tangentially split. This is a practice that has previously only been recorded during the Neolithic.
The research on Bouldnor Cliff conducted by the Trust has demonstrated the significance and research potential of the site. This area was occupied by humans only a few hundred years prior to the land separation between Britain and the European mainland. This historically significant period is still poorly understood, as archaeological remains from this era do not tend to survive very well on dry land. To this day, Bouldnor Cliff remains the only submerged Mesolithic settlement in Britain. This is significant as the archaeological remains found at the site have been remarkably well-presevered in the anaeorobic conditions on the seabed.
In furtherance of our fieldwork at the site, the Trust also conducted a photogrammetry survey. This has allowed us to create an interactive 3D model of a section of the Bouldnor Cliff site. This model along with other 3D-models of artefacts and wood from Bouldnor Cliff, are freely accesible here.
In 2016 we teamed up with DigVentures to create more awareness for Bouldnor Cliff. The articles from the collaboration can be found on their website.
This year we have so far conducted two fieldwork sessions at Bouldnor Cliff. We were joined by researchers from the For Sea Discovery programme, who helped us with recovering more wood and sediment samples for analysis. This year we also uncovered our first tranche adze from the site.
A BBC reporter joined us on the dive boat while we were conducting fieldwork. This feature will air on BBC Radio 3 soon. More exciting updates will be released in the near future.