Rapid Coastal Zone Survey and beyond: research and management of the Essex coast
The long coastline of Essex, has a lengthy history of archaeological research including the Hullbridge Survey, an extensive survey carried out in the 1980s. Recently preparation and implementation of An Archaeological Research Framework for the Greater Thames Estuary (Williams and Brown 1999) provided the impetus for further fieldwork. This included new Rapid Coastal Zone Survey (RCZAS) of areas not investigated by the original Hullbridge Survey, together with monitoring of selected sites from that survey. The RCZAS targeted areas likely to contain sites and deposits of Roman Medieval and Post-Medieval date. The results indicated the importance of the coast for transportation and exploitation of a variety of resources as an integral part of the wider economy. The monitoring survey provided a systematic record changes to archaeological sites and deposits, using the data collected by the Hullbridge Survey as a baseline. Regular re-visits to a group of sites at Rolls Farm also demonstrated the usefulness of monitoring as mitigation, allowing a composite picture to be built up of sites which may never be entirely exposed at any given time. The results are presented in the context of other recent work carried out in close co-operation with nature conservation and other agencies, allowing an integrated approach to research and management of the coastal historic environment to be developed.
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