The port town of Hartlepool has a long and rich maritime history stretching back to at least Medieval times. The town’s modern history however, really began with the Industrial Revolution, when the huge demand for coal gave rise to the rapid development of the town’s shipbuilding industry and the coast-wise export trade in these valuable “black diamonds”.
Following a successful pilot scheme in 2005 the NAS ran WreckMap Britain 2006 with the support of Seasearch, Crown Estate, PADI Project Aware and the British Sub-Aqua Jubilee Trust.
The project aims to get UK divers to collect and report basic archaeological and biological information about a wreck site that they dive on
The WreckMap 2001 project evolved through consultation and collaboration between the NAS, the Dorset Coast Forum, the Dorset Wildlife Trust and the National Trust, with the aim of developing a methodology for an effective multi-disciplinary approach to seabed evaluation.
WreckMap Portland 2003
The NAS Training WreckMap Portland 2003 project took place in and around Portland Harbour, Dorset between the 19th and 23rd of May 2003. The project evolved through consultation and collaboration between NAS Training, the Dorset Coast Forum and the Weymouth Museum, with the aim of involving recreational scuba divers in the recording of wreck sites of historic interest in Weymouth and Portland.
Stourhead 2007 was held over the late May bank holiday week and saw a small but committed team of NAS volunteers (both Stourhead regulars and new faces) investigate features of the submerged landscape using marine geophysics (sub bottom profiler and sidescan sonar), diver- and snorkeller-led ground truthing and underwater excavation.As ever, outreach was an important part of the project and included a day long "reverse survey" project to map out a full size outline of the (long gone) Chinese Bridge.The project featured in broadcasts and web coverage on BBC television news and BBC Wiltshire
In the autumn of 2007 The Nautical Archaeology Society undertook a series of events to mark the 75th anniversary of the loss of 60 sailors and airmen when their unique aeroplane-launching submarine sank during exercises off Lyme Bay, Dorset.
The Steam Trawler Sheraton was built in 1907 for fishing and was later used for boom defence work during World War I and served as a patrol vessel in WWII, for which she was fitted with a six pounder gun. During a gale in 1947 she broke free of her mooring and drifted onto the beach at Hunstanton. Much of the Sheraton was salvaged but the bottom of the hull remains on the beach in the intertidal zone.
The Purton hulks form the largest ships graveyard in the UK, beginning when several hulks were used in the early 20th century to shore up the bank between the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal and the River Severn, there are currently approximately 80 vessels located along the riverbank at Purton.
Nautical archaeology? That's about shipwrecks isn't it?!
A much better definition of nautical archaeology is 'Anything Wet!' Thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the NAS through its Diving Into History initiative took that message where it has never gone before - into schools, youth groups and adult organisations that have so far had little contact with our maritime heritage.
There can be no doubt that research plays an essential role in any archaeological or historical investigation. In the past, undertaking research has usually involved paying a visit to the local library, regional museum, or even a national archive, all of which required a great deal of time and effort.