Offshore development: creating a legacy for marine archaeology

Posted on June 19, 2020

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In 2011 the UK Marine Policy statement clearly stated a view, shared by all UK Administrations, that heritage assets should be conserved through marine planning and that, opportunities should be taken to contribute to our knowledge and understanding of our past by capturing evidence from the historic environment and making this publicly available. Coupled with massive growth in offshore development in recent years, these steps forward in marine planning have resulted in the production of an enormous body of archaeological data, entirely funded by developers. Using both case studies and theoretical papers, this panel will look to explore how we realise the public benefit of this data and how we can create a meaningful legacy for marine archaeology in terms of both the approaches we take to ‘rescue   archaeology’ in the marine historic environment and to the assimilation of data as part of established research agendas.

Victoria Cooper, Royal HaskoningDHV

Katy Bell, Dodnor Rediscovered Archaeology Project

Dead Man’s Chest: Historic Environment Data Archive Centres and MEDIN

https://youtu.be/_rzYnRo-3SY

The Marine Environmental Data Information Network (MEDIN) is a partnership of UK organisations committed to the preservation of, and access to, digital data from the marine environment. Marine datasets are expensive to collect and always unique in relation to time and geographical position. MEDIN has established a series of Data Archive Centres (DACs) to ensure the long-term preservation and reuse of data across a range of disciplines. The Archaeology Data Service, Historic Environment Scotland and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales form a federated DAC for the Historic Environment. The DAC partners are each committed to the long –term preservation and re-use of data from marine archaeology. Whilst the DAC partners take on responsibility for archiving digital data, success of the DAC is dependent on the collaboration with those undertaking fieldwork and research in the marine historic environment. Does MEDIN help deliver the meaningful legacy the marine archaeological community expects?

Peter McKeague (Historic Environment Scotland) and Katie Green (Archaeological Data Service)

Across and beyond site boundaries: maximising the legacy of commercial submerged landscape investigations

https://youtu.be/MrKk566TKm0

Claire Mellett (Wessex Archaeology)

Archaeological work in support of offshore development is enabling significant advancement in our understanding of submerged palaeolandscapes. However, the data and technical reports produced tend to be site-specific and not always accessible.
What is the legacy of these archaeological studies? Do they contribute to regional research agendas? How can we ensure accessibility of information and maximise the public benefit?
In this paper we address these questions using a case study from two wind farm developments in the southern North Sea. We demonstrate that value can be increased by: a) considering data across and beyond site boundaries, enabling the formulation of area-specific research questions; b) using these research questions to inform site-specific aims and objectives rather than simply reacting to data availability; c) utilising all available data, including that collected for non-archaeological purposes, and; d) promoting wider engagement beyond the archaeological community.

Where the wind blows: A Curators Perspective on the public benefit from offshore wind developments

https://youtu.be/FyzdXwecHFE

As the Marine Management Organisation’s primary heritage advisor, Historic England is involved in the post-consent delivery of offshore projects such as large-scale wind farms. Given the scale of developments, the vast suites of data being collected to support them, and in line with the National Policy Statement, the potential for public benefit arising from such schemes is now being realised.
Taken from a curatorial point of view, this paper will look at how Historic England has contributed to securing public benefits from offshore wind farm developments using specific examples drawn from recent North Sea Round 2 and 3 offshore wind farms. Additionally, in the face of increasing interest in offshore seabed areas for further renewables projects, we will consider how to make the best of future opportunities.

Pip Naylor (Historic England)

Introduction to Offshore Development: Creating a Legacy for Marine Archaeology

https://youtu.be/8AGz9BjA5l4

In 2011 the UK Marine Policy statement clearly stated a view, shared by all UK Administrations, that heritage assets should be conserved through marine planning and that, opportunities should be taken to contribute to our knowledge and understanding of our past by capturing evidence from the historic environment and making this publicly available. Coupled with massive growth in offshore development in recent years, these steps forward in marine planning have resulted in the production of an enormous body of archaeological data, entirely funded by developers. Using both case studies and theoretical papers, this panel will look to explore how we realise the public benefit of this data and how we can create a meaningful legacy for marine archaeology in terms of both the approaches we take to ‘rescue archaeology’ in the marine historic environment and to the assimilation of data as part of established research agendas.

Victoria Cooper (CIfA MASIG Chair)

Offshore Legacies: are we making the most of the marine development dividend?

https://youtu.be/0muUsVUZ3MU

Development‐led projects have been a feature of UK marine archaeology for at least 20 years. This has caused an influx of resources and technical capabilities that could hardly have been anticipated in the mid‐1990s. Archaeologists have benefitted in terms of access to the historic environment, skills and employment. Many important discoveries and investigations have occurred as a direct result of offshore development. But has the impact of this dividend been proportionate to the investment? Archaeology has three objectives: to conserve physical evidence; to advance understanding of past societies; to engage the public. How does marine development‐led archaeology rate against these three objectives as it matures? This presentation will consider the strengths and weaknesses of archaeological practice in the marine zone, together with potential threats and opportunities as we look to establish a longterm legacy for marine development‐led archaeology.

Antony Firth (Fjordr Ltd)

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