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Archaeological Survey of an Intertidal Zone: The Submerged Landscape of the Essex Coast, England

T. J. Wilkinson and P. Murphy
Journal of Field Archaeology
Vol. 13, No. 2 (Summer, 1986), pp. 177-194
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
DOI: 10.2307/530219
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/530219
Page Count: 18
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Archaeological Survey of an Intertidal Zone: The Submerged Landscape of the Essex Coast, England
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Abstract

The intertidal zone provides a wealth of well-preserved information--economic, cultural, and environmental--to supplement the often eroded and weathered record from adjacent dry-land sites. The wide tidal range of estuaries in SE England enables archaeological survey to be conducted below present sea level when the tide is low. Almost constant waterlogging preserves wooden structures and artifacts of wood, organic soil horizons, submerged forests and, in certain localities, complete landscapes. After a brief summary of the evidence of sea-level rise during the Holocene, the sedimentary stratigraphy of the main survey area of the Crouch estuary, Essex, England, is outlined. This enables one to construct a parallel cultural sequence which, in turn, is independently dated by radiometric techniques and by associated artifacts. Within each cultural stage are described noteworthy occupation sites, salt-working areas, wooden structures, and other features that allow the patterns of settlement and activities to be inferred throughout much of the Holocene.

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