England's Historic Seascapes: Demonstrating the Method

SeaZone Solutions Limited, 2011

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SeaZone Solutions Limited (2011) England's Historic Seascapes: Demonstrating the Method [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1000144

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Lindisfarne Castle. Holy Island, off the North Northumberland coast

The HSC: Demonstrating the Method Project, funded by the ALSF, marks the initial implementation of a rigorous, repeatable methodology for Historic Seascape Characterisation, applying the principles already underpinning Historic Landscape Characterisation (HLC) to the coastal and marine zones.

Extending those principles to the coastal and marine zone to produce a Historic Seascape Characterisation (HSC) Method presents challenges due to the inherent differences between marine and terrestrial environments. The methodology was developed through the England's Historic Seascapes Programme involving five pilot method development studies, beginning in 2004, in which each presented different but related approaches to HSC. The results were consolidated into a single nationally-applicable HSC methodology for the area-based characterisation of historic coastal and marine landscapes.

Following that development of the national HSC Methodology in 2008, SeaZone was invited to tender for a project which aims to demonstrate the practical implementation of the HSC Method and promote its relevance to future applications through demonstrative case-studies.

The robust national method for HSC is source-led, assessing and defining areas that share similar and repeating historic character as Historic Seascape Character 'Types', allowing historic trends and processes to inform and frame the broader sustainable management of change through marine spatial planning, outreach and research projects.

The HSC approach takes a holistic view of the historic landscape and can provide context for the often 'point-based' datasets available for the marine zone. The resulting product is designed to enable the distinctive historic cultural character of the present to be understood and contribute positively to the sustainable management of change in the future affecting the coastal and marine environment.