Tagged / archaeology

What ancient footprints can tell us about what it was like to be a child in prehistoric times

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Footprint from 700,000 years ago. Matthew Bennett, Author provided

By Professor Matthew Bennett and Dr Sally Reynolds.

Western society has a rather specific view of what a good childhood should be like; protecting, sheltering and legislating to ensure compliance with it. However, perceptions of childhood vary greatly with geography, culture and time. What was it like to be a child in prehistoric times, for example – in the absence of toys, tablets and television?

In our new paper, published in Scientific Reports, we outline the discovery of children’s footprints in Ethiopia which show how children spent their time 700,000 years ago.

We first came across the question of what footprints can tell us about past childhood experiences a few years back while studying some astonishingly beautiful children’s footprints in Namibia, just south of Walvis Bay. In archaeological terms the tracks were young, dating only from around 1,500 years ago. They were made by a small group of children walking across a drying mud surface after a flock of sheep or goats. Some of these tracks were made by children as young as three-years-old in the company of slightly older children and perhaps young adolescents.

Namibian footprints. Matthew Bennett, Author provided

The detail in these tracks, preserved beneath the shifting sands of the Namibian Sand Sea, is amazing, and the pattern of footfall – with the occasional skip, hop and jump – shows they were being playful. The site also showed that children were trusted with the family flock of animals from an early age and, one assumes, they learnt from that experience how to function as adults were expected to within that culture.

No helicopter parents

But what about the childhood of our earlier ancestors – those that came before anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens)? Children’s tracks by Homo antecessor (1.2m to 800,000 years ago) were found at Happisburgh in East Anglia, a site dating to a million years ago. Sadly though, these tracks leave no insight into what these children were doing.

Reconstruction of Homo Heidelbergensis. Jose Luis Martinez Alvarez/wikipedia, CC BY-SA

But the footprints described in our recent study – from a remarkable site in the Upper Awash Valley of Southern Ethiopia that was excavated by researchers from the Università di Roma “La Sapienza” – reveal a bit more. The children’s tracks were probably made by the extinct species Homo heidelbergensis(600,000 to 200,000 years ago), occurring next to adult prints and an abundance of animal tracks congregated around a small, muddy pool. Stone tools and the butchered remains of a hippo were also found at the site, called Melka Kunture.

This assemblage of tracks is capped by an ash flow from a nearby volcano which has been dated to 700,000 years ago. The ash flow was deposited shortly after the tracks were left, although we don’t know precisely how soon after. The tracks are not as anatomically distinct as those from Namibia but they are smaller and may have been made by children as young as one or two, standing in the mud while their parents and older siblings got on with their activities. This included knapping the stone tools with which they butchered the carcass of the hippo.

The findings create a unique and momentary insight into the world of a child long ago. They clearly were not left at home with a babysitter when the parents were hunting. In the harsh savannah plains of the East African Rift Valley, it was natural to bring your children to such daily tasks, perhaps so they could observe and learn.

This is not surprising, when one considers the wealth of ethnographic evidence from modern, culturally distinct human societies. Babies and children are most often seen as the lowliest members of their social and family groups. They are often expected to contribute to activities that support the mother, and the wider family group, according to their abilities. In many societies, small boys tend to help with herding, while young girls are preferred as babysitters. Interestingly, adult tools – like axes, knives, machetes, even guns – are often freely available to children as a way of learning.

Artistic impression of scene at Melka Kunture. Matthew Bennett, Author provided

So, if we picture the scene at Melka Kunture, the children observing the butchery were probably allowed to handle stone tools and practice their skills on discarded pieces of carcass while staying out of the way of the fully-occupied adults. This was their school room, and the curriculum was the acquisition of survival skills. There was little time or space to simply be a child, in the sense that we would recognise today.

This was likely the case for a very long time. The Monte Hermoso Human Footprint Site in Argentina (roughly 7,000-years-old) contains predominantly small tracks (of children and women) preserved in coastal sediments and it has been suggested that the children may have played an important role in gathering seafood or coastal resources. Similarly, most of the tracks in the Tuc d’Audoubert Cave in France (15,000-years-old) are those of children and the art there is striking. Perhaps they were present when it was carved and painted?

However, these observations contrasts to the story that emerged last year based on tracks from the older Homo Homo erectus (1.5m-year-old) at Ileret, located further south in the Rift Valley, just within the northern border of Kenya. Here the tracks have been interpreted as the product of adult hunting groups moving along a lake shore, rather than a domestic scene such as that at Melka Kunture. However, these scenes aren’t mutually exclusive and both show the power of footprints to provide a snapshot into past hominin behaviour.

But it does seem like the overwhelming parenting lesson from the distant past is that children had more responsibilities, less adult supervision and certainly no indulgence from their parents. It is a picture of a childhood very different from our own, at least from the privileged perspective of life in Western society.

 

Matthew Robert Bennett, Professor of Environmental and Geographical Sciences, Bournemouth University and Sally Christine Reynolds, Senior Lecturer in Hominin Palaeoecology, Bournemouth University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Two papers on health & migration in Nepal

This last week two separate papers have been accepted on aspects of health and well-being among migrants workers from Nepal.  The first in the International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care is based on a completed PhD project in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences with Dr. Pratik Adhikary as first author [1].  This paper ‘Health and well-being of Nepalese migrant workers abroad’ is co-authored by two former FHSS staff Dr. Zoe Sheppard and Dr. Steve Keen, and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen of the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH).

 

The second paper ‘A study of Health Problems of Nepalese Female Migrants Workers in the Middle-East and Malaysia’ was accepted by the Open Access journal BMC International Health & Human Rights [2].  The lead author of this paper is Bournemouth University (BU) Visiting Faculty Prof. Padam Simkhada (based at Liverpool John Moores University) and two of his co-authors are based in Nepal: Manju Gurung (chair of Pourakhi Nepal) and Dr. Sharada Prasad Wasti and one at BU: Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen .

There is  a growing momentum in migration research at BU with further academic papers being published related to studies on migrant workers from Nepal [4-8], relatives of migrant workers [9], migration into the UK [10-12], Eastern European migration issues [13-15], migration and tourism [16], migration and the media [17] as well as migration in the past [18].

 

References:

  1. Adhikary P, Sheppard, Z., Keen S., van Teijlingen E. (2018) Health and well-being of Nepalese migrant workers abroad, International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care (accepted). https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMHSC-12-2015-0052
  2. Simkhada, P.P., van Teijlingen, E.R., Gurung, M., Wasti, S. (2018) A study of Health Problems of Nepalese Female Migrants Workers in the Middle-East and Malaysia, BMC International Health & Human Rights (accepted Jan.).
  3. Adhikary, P., Simkhada, P.P., van Teijlingen E., Raja, AE. (2008) Health & Lifestyle of Nepalese Migrants in the UK BMC International Health & Human Rights 8(6). Web address: www.biomedcentral.com/1472-698X/8/6.
  4. van Teijlingen E, Simkhada, P., Adhikary, P. (2009) Alcohol use among the Nepalese in the UK BMJ Rapid Response: www.bmj.com/cgi/eletters/339/oct20_1/b4028#223451
  5. Adhikary P., Keen S., van Teijlingen, E. (2011) Health Issues among Nepalese migrant workers in Middle East. Health Science Journal 5: 169-175. www.hsj.gr/volume5/issue3/532.pdf
  6. Adhikary, P., Sheppard, Z., Keen, S., van Teijlingen, E. (2017) Risky work: Accidents among Nepalese migrant workers in Malaysia, Qatar and Saudi, Health Prospect 16(2): 3-10.
  7. Aryal, N., Regmi, PR., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P., Adhikary, P., Bhatta, YKD., Mann, S. (2016) Injury and Mortality in Young Nepalese Migrant Workers: A Call for Public Health Action. Asian-Pacific Journal of Public Health 28(8): 703-705.
  8. Simkhada, PP., Regmi, PR., van Teijlingen, E., Aryal, N. (2017) Identifying the gaps in Nepalese migrant workers’ health & well-being: A review of the literature, Journal of Travel Medicine 24 (4): 1-9.
  9. Aryal, N., Regmi, PR., van Teijlingen, E., Dhungel, D., Ghale, G., Bhatta, GK. (2016) Knowing is not enough: Migrant workers’ spouses vulnerability to HIV SAARC Journal of Tuberculosis, Lung Diseases & HIV/AIDS 8(1):9-15.
  10. Scammell, J., 2016. Nurse migration and the EU: how are UK nurses prepared? British Journal of Nursing, 25 (13), p. 764.
  11. Holscher, J., 2017. The effects of Brexit on the EU, the UK and Dorset – a migrant’s account. BAFES Working Papers, 1-11.
  12. Sapkota, T., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E. (2014) Nepalese health workers’ migration to United Kingdom: A qualitative study. Health Science Journal 8(1):57-74.
  13. Filimonau, V., Mika, M. (2017) Return labour migration: an exploratory study of Polish migrant workers from the UK hospitality industry. Current Issues in Tourism, 1-22.
  14. Janta, H., Ladkin, A., Brown, L., Lugosi, P., 2011. Employment experiences of Polish migrant workers in the UK hospitality sector. Tourism Management, 32 (5): 1006-1019.
  15. Mai, N., Schwandner-Sievers, S. (2003) Albanian migration and new transnationalisms, Journal of Ethnic & Migration Studies 29(6): 939-948.
  16. Dwyer, L., Seetaram, N., Forsyth, P., Brian, K. (2014) Is the Migration-Tourism Relationship only about VFR? Annals of Tourism Research, 46: 130-143.
  17. Marino, S., Dawes, S. (2016). Fortress Europe: Media, Migration and Borders. Networking Knowledge, 9 (4).
  18. Parker Pearson, M., Richards, C., Allen, M., Payne, A., Welham, K. (2004) The Stonehenge Riverside project Research design and initial results Journal of Nordic Archaeological Science 14: 45–60.

Migration research at BU: New migrant workers’ paper published

Two days ago saw the publication of the latest paper on migration research here at Bournemouth University. The journal Health Prospect published ‘Risky work: Accidents among Nepalese migrant workers in Malaysia, Qatar and Saudi’ [1]. This new paper is based on the PhD research project conducted by Dr. Pratik Adhikary. Health Prospect is a peer-reviewed Open Access journal, part of Nepal Journals Online (NepJOL) which offers free access to research on and/or from Nepal. The paper is co-authored by former FHSS staff Dr. Zoe Sheppard and Dr. Steve Keen as well as Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen of the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH).

Previous academic papers by BU scholars included, amongst others, work on migrant workers from Nepal [2-6], relatives of migrant workers [7], migrant health workers [8-9], migration and tourism [10-11], migrant workers from Eastern Europe [11-13], migration and the media [14] as well as migration in the past [15]. The various strands of work link very well to BU’s application for Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships.

 

References:

  1. Adhikary, P., Sheppard, Z., Keen, S., van Teijlingen, E. (2017) Risky work: Accidents among Nepalese migrant workers in Malaysia, Qatar and Saudi, Health Prospect 16(2): 3-10.
  2. Adhikary, P., Simkhada, P.P., van Teijlingen E., Raja, AE. (2008) Health & Lifestyle of Nepalese Migrants in the UK BMC International Health & Human Rights 8(6). Web address: www.biomedcentral.com/1472-698X/8/6.
  3. van Teijlingen E, Simkhada, P., Adhikary, P. (2009) Alcohol use among the Nepalese in the UK BMJ Rapid Response: www.bmj.com/cgi/eletters/339/oct20_1/b4028#223451
  4. Adhikary P., Keen S., van Teijlingen, E. (2011) Health Issues among Nepalese migrant workers in Middle East. Health Science Journal 5: 169-175. www.hsj.gr/volume5/issue3/532.pdf
  5. Aryal, N., Regmi, PR., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P., Adhikary, P., Bhatta, YKD., Mann, S. (2016) Injury and Mortality in Young Nepalese Migrant Workers: A Call for Public Health Action. Asian-Pacific Journal of Public Health 28(8): 703-705.
  6. Simkhada, PP., Regmi, PR., van Teijlingen, E., Aryal, N. (2017) Identifying the gaps in Nepalese migrant workers’ health & well-being: A review of the literature, Journal of Travel Medicine 24 (4): 1-9.
  7. Aryal, N., Regmi, PR., van Teijlingen, E., Dhungel, D., Ghale, G., Bhatta, GK. (2016) Knowing is not enough: Migrant workers’ spouses vulnerability to HIV SAARC Journal of Tuberculosis, Lung Diseases & HIV/AIDS 8(1):9-15.
  8. Scammell, J., 2016. Nurse migration and the EU: how are UK nurses prepared? British Journal of Nursing, 25 (13), p. 764.
  9. Sapkota, T., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E. (2014) Nepalese health workers’ migration to United Kingdom: A qualitative study. Health Science Journal 8(1):57-74.
  10. Dwyer, L., Seetaram, N., Forsyth, P., Brian, K. (2014) Is the Migration-Tourism Relationship only about VFR? Annals of Tourism Research, 46: 130-143.
  11. Filimonau, V., Mika, M. (2017) Return labour migration: an exploratory study of Polish migrant workers from the UK hospitality industry. Current Issues in Tourism, 1-22.
  12. Janta, H., Ladkin, A., Brown, L., Lugosi, P., 2011. Employment experiences of Polish migrant workers in the UK hospitality sector. Tourism Management, 32 (5): 1006-1019.
  13. Mai, N., Schwandner-Sievers, S. (2003) Albanian migration and new transnationalisms, Journal of Ethnic & Migration Studies 29(6): 939-948.
  14. Marino, S., Dawes, S., 2016. Fortress Europe: Media, Migration and Borders. Networking Knowledge, 9 (4).
  15. Parker Pearson, M., Richards, C., Allen, M., Payne, A. & Welham, K. (2004) The Stonehenge Riverside project Research design and initial results Journal of Nordic Archaeological Science 14: 45–60

Policy and political scene this week: 25 May 2017

Welcome to this week’s political scene within research. Here is a summary of the week’s generic policy reports and releases, alongside new niche consultations and inquiries.

The role of EU funding in UK research and innovation

This week the role of EU funding in UK research and innovation has hit the headlines. Its an analysis of the academic disciplines most reliant on EU research and innovation funding at a granular level.

Jointly commissioned by Technopolis and the UK’s four national academies (Medical Sciences, British Academy, Engineering and Royal Society) it highlights that of the 15 disciplines most dependent on EU funding 13 are within the arts, humanities and social science sphere.

Most reliant on the EU funding as a proportion of their total research funding are Archaeology (38% of funding), Classics (33%) and IT (30%).

The full report dissects the information further considering the funding across disciplines, institutions, industrial sectors, company sizes and UK regions. It differentiates between the absolute value of the research grant income from EU government bodies, and the relative value of research grant income from EU government bodies with respect to research grant income from all sources, including how the EU funding interacts with other funding sources.

There are also 11 focal case studies, including archaeology and ICT. Here’s an excerpt from the archaeology case study considering the risks associated with Brexit and the UK’s industrial strategy:

As archaeologists are heavily dependent on EU funding, a break away from EU funding sources puts the discipline in a vulnerable position. This is exacerbated by the fact that the UK is short of archaeologists and/or skilled workers active in the field of Archaeology because of the surge in large scale infrastructure projects (e.g. HS2, Crossrail, and the A14), which drives away many archaeologists from research positions.” Source

See the full report page 25 for particular detail on ICT and digital sector, and page 39 for archaeology. For press coverage see the Financial Times article.

Bathing Water Quality

The European Environment Agency published European Bathing Water Quality in 2016. It sees the UK as second to bottom in the league table for quality of bathing water. While 96.4% of British beaches were found safe to swim in last year 20 sites failed the annual assessment. Only Ireland had a higher percentage of poor quality bathing waters at 4%.

Report link: https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/european-bathing-water-quality-in-2016

How and when to submit evidence to policy makers

This week Research Professional ran a succinct article encouraging researchers to think more about when and how they submit evidence to policy makers. Timing is key, policy makers often want information instantaneously and the article urges researchers to be responsive but pragmatic, including a pro-active approach of gently keeping key policy makers informed of new developments.

Researchers wanting to have a political impact may consider attending a UK Parliament Outreach and Engagement Service events.

 

Consultations and Inquiries

Responding to a select committee call for evidence is a great way for academics to influence UK policy. If you respond to a consultation or inquiry as a BU member of staff please let us know of your interest by emailing policy@bournemouth.ac.uk at least one week before you submit your response.

This week there are three new inquiries and consultations that may be of interest to BU academics.

Sports

A Scottish Parliament inquiry is seeking individual’s views on community-based approaches to removing barriers to participation in grassroots sport and physical activity, including how to promote volunteering. The committee is asking for views and examples on a range of questions, including:

  • Examples where a community based approach has been successful in removing barriers to participation in sport and physical activity?
  • Approaches that were particularly successful in increasing participation among certain social groups, like women, ethnic minorities, certain age-groups?
  • The barriers facing volunteers and how can they be overcome? The aim is to inform how Scotland might increase participation rates across all groups and sectors of society, respondents can select to answer only the most relevant questions.

The call for evidence closes on 30 June.

Body Image

The British Youth Council has opened an inquiry into body image and how the growth of social media and communications platforms has encouraged attitudes that entrench poor body image. Included among the inquiry questions are:

  • Has the growing use of social media and communications platforms amongst young people encouraged practices and attitudes that entrench poor body image? What is the link between “sexting” and body dissatisfaction?
  • Do internet companies, social media platforms or other platforms have a responsibility to tackle trends which entrench poor body image? What are they already doing in this area? What more should they be doing?
  • Are particular groups of young people particularly prone to poor body image, or less likely to seek help? What causes these trends?
  • In relation to young men and boys, minority ethnic groups, and those who self-identify as transgender: what are the specific challenges facing young people in these groups? How effective is existing support?
  • To what extent is dissatisfaction with body image contributing to the increase in mental health problems amongst children and young people?

The call for evidence closes on 16 June.

Drainage & Flooding

The Welsh government has opened a consultation on the implementation of sustainable drainage systems on new developments (schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010).

The consultation closes on 11 August.

 

HE Policy Update

You can also sign up to receive BU’s separate weekly HE policy update delivered direct to your inbox each Friday by emailing policy@bournemouth.ac.uk

 

Sarah Carter

Policy & Public Affairs Officer

Brick-henge at the Jewell Academy, Bournemouth

Pupils at the Jewell Academy in Bournemouth have built a scale-model of Stonehenge in the school grounds using 80 house-bricks. The work was as part of an outreach visit by Professor Tim Darvill from the Department of Archaeology, Anthropology and Forensic Science to introduce young scholars to the results of recent research at Stonehenge. Orientated on the mid-winter sunset the model should survive long enough to help celebrate the end of term and the start of the winter festival in six weeks time!

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BU excavations at Cotswold long barrow reported in Current Archaeology

Current Archaeology, the UK’s best-selling archaeological magazine, features news of BU’s discovery of a previously unrecorded Neolithic long barrow in the Cotswolds in its December issue that goes on sale today. The excavations, directed by Professor Tim Darvill and Dr Martin Smith from the Department of Archaeology, Anthropology and Forensic Science, revealed a large stone-built mound dating to around 3800 BC. Such mounds served as territorial markers as well as burial places for communities living in the area. The work forms part of a larger study looking at the history and development of the Cotswold landscape since prehistoric times and includes collaboration with staff from the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin.

Human Henge: Historic landscapes & mental health at Stonehenge

Stonehenge in the sunshineCongratulations to colleagues on the recently funded project “Human Henge: Historic landscapes and mental health at Stonehenge”.  This research led by the Restoration Trust. The project has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage Trust and Wiltshire County Council and has multiple partners and contributors including Wiltshire County Council, Richmond Fellowship, English Heritage Trust and Bournemouth University. From BU, Prof Tim Darvill (Director Centre of Archaeology, Faculty of Science & Technology) and Dr Vanessa Heaslip (Faculty of Health & Social Sciences) are engaged in this project.

The Human Henge research project is a therapeutic sensory experience of Stonehenge for two facilitated groups, each of up to 16 local people with mental health problems, plus carers, support workers, volunteers and staff. Over ten weekly three-hour sessions, one at night, each group walks the landscape, reaching through time to other humans whose traces are illuminated by accompanying pre-historians, curators and artists. Individual experiences cohere in a shared spoken epic which is augmented from session to session. The groups arrive inside the Stone Circle near the winter solstice and spring equinox; collaborating with their chosen artist, they decide what they do there.

Congratulations!

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

 

Shipworms, shipwrecks and global ‘worming’

BU’s Paola Palma will be introducing us to a world of shipwrecks and shipworms at the next Talk BU Live event on Tuesday 24 February. Join us in Dylan’s Bar at 5:30pm for a fascinating insight into maritime archaeology and the secrets beneath the sea.

About the talk

Marine borers, particularly shipworms – destroyers of timber par excellence – have been a well-known threat to sailors since ancient times. They attacked the wooden hulls of ships with such intensity that the weakened planks broke up even with mild impact such as hitting a rock or a floating object, causing tragic ship-wrecks. Even the survival of sunken ships as historic wrecks depends on the mercy of wood-destroying organisms, which may turn these “port-holes” to history into meaningless junk.

Recent research along the English coast has shown evidence of a shipworm which is typical of much warmer waters. But what exactly are these sea-dwelling critters? Why are they so far north? And what can we do to stop them destroying our maritime history?

About Talk BU Live

Talk BU Live is a once monthly on-campus event designed to get people talking and thinking. Talks are no more than 20 minutes long with a short Q&A at the end and are open to all students and staff at BU.

You can get involved by tweeting #TalkBU or find out more by contacting the team below or visiting the Talk BU page on the BU website.

Please note that this event will be video recorded and made available online.

 

Contact

Tel: +44 (0) 1202 961041

Email: newsdesk@bournemouth.ac.uk

Web: www.bournemouth.ac.uk/talk-bu

Google Under-the-Earth: Seeing Beneath Stonehenge

Google Under-the-Earth: Seeing Beneath Stonehenge is the first application of its kind to transport users around a virtual prehistoric landscape, exploring the magnificent and internationally important monument, Stonehenge.

The application was developed by Bournemouth University archaeologists, using new field data gathered during their work with colleagues from the universities of Sheffield, Manchester, Bristol, Southampton and London as part of the Stonehenge Riverside Project.  Google Under-the-Earth works by adding layers of archaeological information to Google Earth technology.Snapshot of the 360 degree view from the Stone Circle

The unique visual experience lets users interact with the past like never before. Highlights include taking a visit to the Neolithic village of Durrington Walls, a trip inside a prehistoric house and the opportunity to see reconstructions of Bluestonehenge at the end of the Stonehenge Avenue and of the great timber monument called the Southern Circle, as they would have looked more than four thousand years ago.

 

The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Google Research Awards, a program which fosters relationships between Google and the academic world as Google fulfils its mission to ‘organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.’

But this fabulous educational and cultural tool does not end with Stonehenge. Archaeological scientist Dr Kate Welham, project leader at Bournemouth University, explained that it is the start of something much bigger.

“It is envisaged that Google Under-the-Earth: Seeing Beneath Stonehenge could be the start of a new layer in Google Earth. Many of the world’s great archaeological sites could be added, incorporating details of centuries’ worth of excavations as well as technical data from geophysical and remote sensing surveys in the last 20 years,” she said.

Dr Nick Snashall, National Trust Archaeologist for Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site, said: “The National Trust cares for over 2000 acres of the Stonehenge Landscape. Seeing Beneath Stonehenge offers exciting and innovative ways for people to explore that landscape. It will allow people across the globe, many of whom may never otherwise have the chance to visit the sites, to share in the thrill of the discoveries made by the Stonehenge Riverside team and to appreciate the remarkable achievements of the people who built and used the monuments.”

You can download the application from the Google Under-the-Earth: Seeing Beneath Stonehenge site. The tool is easy to use and requires Google Earth to be installed on your computer.

Dave Parham and Paola Palma – Swash Channel wreck

Dave Parham and Paola Palma (School of Applied Sciences) have been researching the Swash Channel Wreck which lies in approximately 7m of water in the Swash Channel in the approaches to Poole Harbour. The site was discovered as a side-scan sonar anomaly as a result of a geophysical survey conducted by Wessex Archaeology on behalf of Poole Harbour Commissioners and Poole Borough Council. The site has since been designated as a Historic Wreck.

The ship is the subject of a major excavation by BU, supported by English Heritage. It has been dated to around 1630 and includes the earliest ship carvings ever found in the UK, including a mysterious wooden merman, and much of the evidence found on the wreck suggest that it would have been a relatively high status ship for its period.

The wreck has been featured on the One Show (6 April 2011) where presenter Dan Snow took part in a dive on the wreck in the mouth of Poole Bay alongside a team of BU Marine Archaeologists, led by Dave.

Dave will also feature in the fourth episode of Britain’s Secret Seas, The Bustling South, on 29 May at 8pm on BBC2.

After conservation, finds from the Wreck and all the information from the excavation will be passed on to Poole Museum Service to be displayed to the community.