Storms – 16th January 2014

The SAMPHIRE team has been investigating several intertidal wreck sites over the course of 2013. The recent storms have removed much of the beach sand around Scotland’s coast and this has led to numerous archaeological discoveries throughout Great Britain and Ireland.

  • A shipwreck was newly exposed and excavated in Newquay
  • A wreck dating to 1903 was uncovered in Ireland
  • In Wales, a prehistoric forest dating to 10,000 years ago was exposed, along with two cannon from the Napoleanic Era

If you have come across any newly exposed wrecks or similar material this winter we would love to hear it and we may be able to help you investigate with professional archaeologists.

Storms like these also have the potential to erode and damage archaeological sites on land.  Prehistoric sites throughout Scotland and Ireland have been impacted by the recent storms including an Iron Age burial in Shetland.

And a coastal midden in Ireland.

Scottish Coastal Archaeology and the Problem of Erosion (SCAPE) is particularly concerned with coastal archaeological sites damaged by storms and erosion. Further information is available at their website.

SAMPHIRE Report 2013

SAMPHIRE Report 2013

Christmas has come early this year for the SAMPHIRE team and there was great excitement in the Scottish office of WA Coastal & Marine as we unwrapped packages containing 100 bound copies of the SAMPHIRE 2013 Annual Report. These 85 page reports give a summary of all the exciting discoveries of 2013 and a background on what we are trying to achieve with this project, supported by The Crown Estate. We will be posting these out in the New Year to those maritime community members on the west coast of Scotland who have made significant contributions to the project over the last year. We will also be sending copies to RCAHMS and to other community archives on the west coast. To help spread the word as far as possible we will also be posting the report on this website in a digital format shortly.

Diving in Shieldaig – 26th July 2013

The SAMPHIRE team are in Shieldaig today, following up on a possible wreck site at Murchadh Breac reported to us by a local creel fisherman. We are working with Torridon Sea Tours and mobilised our dive team today from the pontoon at Shieldaig. We were fortunate to have local historian Robert Gordon joining us on the trip and to be able to compare notes with boat operators Kenny and Gemma Livingstone, whose family have lived and fished in the area for generations. We sent two divers down on the west side of Murchadh Breac, at the mouth of Loch Torridon. The area was found to be heavily covered in kelp and no wreck material was encountered today but chatting with locals we now have more info on wreck sites in the area and will be following up on these leads.

SAMPHIRE diver in Shieldaig