F31 A View From The Edge
A View From The Edge: Archaeological Investigation on the Manhood Peninsula, Selsey for the Medmerry Managed Realignment Scheme.
Between 2010-2013, the Environment Agency undertook the managed realignment of the coastline at Medmerry. The project is the largest open-coast flood relief scheme undertaken in Europe and impacted on upwards of 60ha of landscape with rich archaeological potential. The opportunity for archaeological research offered by the scheme has provided a window into the evolution of this distinctive coastal landscape from the earliest period of archaeologically visible human settlement in the Bronze Age through to the modern era.
The geoarchaeological and palaeoenvironmental programme produced a significant sediment archive, an important contribution to the study of the Manhood Peninsula. Important prehistoric archaeology was uncovered including a Mesolithic flint assemblage, partly from an in situ knapping site, and five burnt mounds, radiocarbon dated to the Early-Middle Bronze Age tranisition, recorded in probable lagoon-edge locations. These are succeeded by Middle Bronze Age settlement and more widepsread Late Bronze Age activity, with two settlements within a localised co-axial field system. Historic period remains include Saxon settlement, with boundaries of possible building plots, and a series of wooden structures within the estuarine or lagoon silts, including major conserved wooden structures of 13-14th century date, interpreted as several phases of large fish weir. Detailed recording of six pillboxes and two gunnery range buildings, together with a large assemblage of expended ordnance, allowed for a detailed consideration of the coastal defences installed during World War II.
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