Sasmap - Overall

The project is structured in 8 well integrated work packages (WPs), each headed by a WP leader, which proceed in a logical order so as to achieve the stated measureable objectives. All partners possess the necessary expertise and facilities to carry out the work specified in the work programme. The overall concept of the project is to use a down-scaling approach to the location and assessment of underwater archaeological sites. Having localized potential sites an up-scaling approach (bottom up) will be taken to developing technologies, tools and best practice methods for preserving them in situ or ex situ. WPs 1 and 2 focus on development of models to allow desk based assessment of the potential of finding archaeological sites, their stability and then how to localise these sites with remote sensing tools. WPs 3-6 focus on the development of tools and technologies and best practice on how to deal with localized archaeological sites and how they should best be preserved in situ or excavated and raised (ex situ).

Work flow for SASMAP.

WP1 focuses on the development of two geological models for the two case study areas in Denmark and Greece. It involves collecting and harmonizing satellite imagery with pre-existing information including seismic, sedimentological, and biostratigraphic data in order to elucidate palaeogeography (sedimentary conditions and water level fluctuations over time) and palaeoenvironment. The models will be used to assess the potential of finding underwater archaeological sites in these environments and assessing their stability. This information will feed directly into WP2 in which target regions for non-destructive down-scaling studies will be selected. The two case study areas will be incorporated into two GIS systems (one for each site).

Based on the models from WP1 and the GIS, those areas on the case study sites most likely to contain archaeological remains and prone to further deterioration will be surveyed with a suite of remote sensing geophysical tools, including a 3D sub bottom profiler which is being specifically developed within the project. The results of these surveys will be incorporated into the GIS in order to provide tools for localizing, mapping and monitoring underwater archaeological sites. The final GIS will be incorporated into the existing MACHU GIS database.

WP3 and WP4 focus on the development of tools and technologies and best practice to assess the burial environment both through in situ logged and ex situ measured parameters, indicative of the deterioration of organic archaeological materials and in situ assessment of the state of preservation of waterlogged archaeological wood.

Should it not be possible to preserve a site in situ WP5 addresses the development of tools and best practice for the raising of poorly preserved organic artefacts.

WP6 will investigate the use of methods to stabilize sites in situ, monitor their effects on sites and how typical materials used for in situ preservation interact with the marine environment.

The tools developed in WPs 3-6, in conjunction with WPs 1 and 2, will enable a dual-scale (down and up scaling) approach to the location, assessment and management of hitherto unknown underwater archaeological sites.

WP7 focusses on dissemination of the project results and further exploitation of the technologies developed. WP8 is devoted to the management of the project.