What is maritime archaeology?

Image of HMS Hazardous and an archaeological study
 

Maritime archaeology is the study of the history and material remains of people and their activities on, under, near or associated with the sea. This includes shipwrecks, submerged settlements and buildings in and around coastal areas.

Although much of this history is underwater and not readily accessible to the public, our wealth of archaeological remains plays a key part in underpinning the world's maritime and naval cultural heritage. Examples of this are two famous shipwreck discoveries by maritime archaeologists: the Mary Rose and HMS Invincible. These two discoveries opened a new era in marine research and highlighted the skills of maritime archaeologists. Today they are well researched and their histories much shared in museums and in education.

Unlike these famous examples, however, many other sites of archaeological significance are ever more in danger of destruction due to erosion, commercial activity or exploitation. This is why at the Maritime Archaeology Trust we are dedicated to researching, recording, preserving and promoting awareness of this maritime heritage before it is lost forever. 

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