Specialists at SeaZone have teamed up with archaeologists from Maritime Archaeology Ltd and Cornwall Council to undertake two further Historic Seascape Characterisation (HSC) projects funded by English Heritage through the Aggregate Levy Sustainability Fund.
Historic Seascape Characterisation (HSC) presents an archaeological interpretation of the historic cultural dimension of our coasts and seas by identifying and mapping areas whose present character has been shaped by similar dominant cultural processes. After rigorous development and testing, a nationally-applicable method for characterising HSC using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was published in 2008. The GIS mapping of historic seascape character can be interrogated in many different ways. It is supported by a series of text descriptions which can also be delivered to wider audiences as part of a non-GIS based multimedia resource.
Since 2008, SeaZone has been commissioned by English Heritage to undertake several collaborative projects implementing the national HSC method to a series of coastal and marine areas of England’s territorial waters. The first, HSC: Demonstrating the Method, undertaken in association with Maritime Archaeology Ltd, was the first to implement the HSC Methodology across a substantial part of North East England, while demonstrating its use via a range of strategic planning and educational case-studies.
SeaZone is now starting work on two new areas as part of a series of four projects commissioned by English Heritage to implement HSC nationally. One of the projects, HSC: Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary is being undertaken in collaboration with Historic Environment, Cornwall Council, while the other, HSC: Hastings to Purbeck and Adjacent Waters is being undertaken again in collaboration with Maritime Archaeology Ltd. All of the projects were won by SeaZone by competitive tender and are due to be completed by December 2010.
SeaZone, Maritime Archaeology Ltd and Cornwall Council are using in-house expertise in maritime archaeology, GIS, HSC and database development to apply the National HSC methodology in close communication with English Heritage’s Characterisation Team.