Following previous years' work, which saw a range of survey, sampling, excavation and analysis work undertaken, the work in 2009 concentrated on rescue survey and recovery of 'at risk' items from this important Mesolithic site. An inspection dive in June revealed that erosion and trawler damage was evident on the seabed.
More timber was being exposed on this nationally important site. One particular worked piece was protruding 20cm from the archaeological layer. The wood was adjacent to the section recovered in 2007 and believed to be associated with it. The exposed section of timber, which had been cut to a point, was rescued.
Further investigations of the site were undertaken during the first week of July. The dive team worked hard to record the site including planning, excavating and filming the activity, resulting in an invaluable archive that will help illuminate our knowledge of the southern British Mesolithic environment.
In July the sondage (small test excavation) cut in 2007 was extended to include the area around the newly exposed timber above. Removal of the covering sediment revealed a wide array of interconnected pieces of what appeared to be trimmed oak members measuring between 8 and 14cm wide. The length of the pieces is as yet unknown as they continue into the bank. The complex of timbers suggests that a substantial Mesolithic structure had once stood in this location.
Later in July, Channel 4 joined the HWTMA team for a day's diving on Bouldnor Cliff to carry out filming for a four-part series: Man on Earth. Tony Robinson travelled back through 200,000 years of human history to find out what happened to our ancestors in the face of catastrophic climate changes. The HWTMA featured in the second episode, The Birth of Civilisation, shown on Monday 14th December 2009.
Here are three 4-minute videos of the diving in late June and early July 2009: