Do you live in Northern Ireland and love diving or beachcombing for marine archaelogical artifacts? Well, now there’s a way to formally make a record of what you find.
The U.K.’s Marine Antiquities Scheme has been extended to the waters of Northern Ireland.
Originally launched in July 2016 for England and Wales, the extension will help enhance awareness of that region’s maritime heritage by helping record archaeological finds via the scheme’s website and mobile app anywhere from the Mean Low Water Level in England, Wales and now Northern Ireland too.
A partnership between the British Sub-Aqua Club, the Crown Estate, the British Museum and Wessex Archaeology created MAS, and with its launch in Northern Ireland, the Historic Environment Division has joined to support the research and documentation of finds in the region’s waters.
Since MAS was launched 18 months ago for England and Wales, individuals have recorded 352 finds, the most interesting of which have included Roman pottery and a medieval pilgrim’s ampulla used for carrying holy water.
Toby Gane, project manager in charge of implementing MAS at Wessex Archaeology, said:
“We are delighted to be involved with the Marine Antiquities Scheme and that it is now to be extended to Northern Ireland. A team at Wessex Archaeology is responsible for implementing the Scheme on behalf of the partnership, which means that we manage all finds made under the scheme and ensure that they are recorded on the MAS database. We look forward to working with organisations in Northern Ireland as the scheme is extended.”
Historic Environment Division Director Iain Greenway said:
“I welcome the extension of the Marine Antiquities Scheme to Northern Ireland. The scheme will undoubtedly help to increase public participation with marine archaeology in Northern Ireland waters, whilst also promoting best practice with regard to the treatment and legal reporting of these finds.”
To learn more about MAS, go to marinefinds.org.uk.