Greater Thames Research Framework

Greater Thames Estuary Archaeological Steering Committee, 2011

Data copyright © English Heritage, Essex County Council, Kent County Council, Thames Estuary Partnership unless otherwise stated

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Greater Thames Estuary Archaeological Steering Committee (2011) Greater Thames Research Framework [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor]

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Overview page image - Hadleigh Castle

The Thames is one of the great European estuaries, a cultural social and economic artery between the heart of England and the continental mainland since prehistoric times. The Greater Thames Estuary is therefore an area with a rich historic environment resource which can be found above and below ground and above and below water.

In 1999 the Greater Thames Estuary Archaeological Steering Committee (GTEASC) published the first research framework for the area recognising the need for a coherent approach to research into the historic environment of the estuary. This document was the first step to defining the historic environment resource, to direct research and underpin curatorial decision-making. It reviewed the state of knowledge at that time and set out possible directions for future research.

The research framework was not intended to be a static document and the last ten years have seen considerable change take place around the estuary. A review process has taken place, overseen by GTEASC (with funding from English Heritage). The updated Research Framework presents the results of that review, considering:

  • Work that has been carried out since the 1999 publication
  • What has been achieved
  • Which research questions remain valid
  • What new questions should be asked

The review has been a collaborative process, drawing upon the knowledge and experience of those with an interest in the historic environment of the estuary across all sectors. Their contributions have been key to the development of the framework. This document will help guide the process of continuing investigation, the results of which will answer questions posed here and raise new ones. The GTEASC will continue to meet and to encourage research.


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