The Depositional and Landscape Histories of Dungeness Foreland and the Port of Rye

Antony Long, Martyn Waller, Andrew Plater, H Roberts, 2006 (updated 2009)

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Durham University
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Antony Long, Martyn Waller, Andrew Plater, H Roberts (2009) The Depositional and Landscape Histories of Dungeness Foreland and the Port of Rye [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1000031

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Introduction

The The Depositional and Landscape Histories of Dungeness Foreland and the Port of Rye (ALSF 4521) project explored the long term resilience of the Romney Marsh / Dungeness Foreland depositional complex in the Southeast of England. The project was funded through the English Heritage distributed Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund, and undertaken by staff from Durham University, University of Liverpool, University of Wales Aberystwyth and Kingston University London. The research has resulted in the publication of a major research monograph:

Long, A.J., Waller, M.P. and Plater, A.J. 2007: Dungeness and Romney Marsh: Barrier Dynamics and Marshland Evolution. ISBN-13: 978-1-84217-288-9; ISBN-10: 1-84217-288-3

The project ultimately combined the research and results of two earlier ALSF projects - The Evolution and Landscape History of Dungeness Foreland (ALSF 3280) and Evolution of the Port of Rye, Romney Marsh, Sussex (ALSF 3281) - under a single title. Details of these projects are provided below.

The Evolution and Landscape History of Dungeness Foreland (ALSF 3280)

Dungeness Foreland is a large sand and gravel barrier located in the eastern English Channel that during the last 500 years has demonstrated remarkable geomorphological resilience in accomodating changes in relative sea-level, storm magnitude and frequency, variations in sediment supply as well as significant changes in back-barrier sedimentation. Dungeness Foreland has a long history of landscape impact caused by aggregate extraction.

The project resulted in a new model for the evolution and landscape history of Dungeness Foreland. The work was based on the collection of new borehole, Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) and radiocarbon dating, as well as paleoenvironmental data (pollen, plant macrofossils, foraminifera, grain size, XRF and magnetic properties) from the gravel beaches of Dungeness, the associated fine-grained sediments, as well as organic deposits preserved in natural pits on the foreland surface.

Evolution of the Port of Rye, Romney Marsh, Sussex (ALSF 3281)

Rye Harbour Saltmarshes

The project comprised an interdisciplinary investigation into the environmental, coastal and landscape history of the port of Rye over the last 4000 years. The port of Rye is located in the south-west corner of the Romney Marsh depositional complex, which has a long history of coastal and landscape change driven by changes in the location, size and stability of sand and gravel beaches. At Rye, these beach sediments form an important aggregate resource, which is subject to ongoing extraction.

The project reconstructed past vegetation history and land–use, coastal change associated with sea-level. storms, and barrier inlet dynamics, and also examined a variety of methodological issues related tp palaeo-wetland reconstruction.