1.1 PROJECT BACKGROUND
1.1.1 Historic Scotland (HS) has sought to use resources available under the provisions of
the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 in a more wide ranging manner than before. In
particular to address a need to better understand the nature of Scotland’s marine
archaeological heritage, with respect to managing and protecting that heritage. This
includes many elements not previously examined under the marine archaeological
1.1.2 Previously the emphasis for management and protection of the resource has
centred on specific statutorily designated shipwrecks. There has been a change of
emphasis stemming from a recognition of the potential richness of Scotland’s marine
archaeological heritage (HS/BEFS 2009).
1.1.3 There is now an awareness of the variety of that resource. The purely marine
archaeological resource can be broadly categorised as consisting of four main
Submerged prehistoric landscapes.
The existence of spot-finds of material potentially associated with any of these
elements should also be noted. The presence of a number of types of
archaeological asset, including a large onshore coastal archaeological heritage, for
example onshore lighthouses, but also vessels on inland waterways and the
prehistoric and early historic log boats known in Scotland, that relate to the marine
archaeological heritage is noted: the characterisation of these resources falls
outside of the remit of this project.
1.1.4 The advent of statutory marine planning in Scotland through the Marine and Coastal
Access Act 2009 and Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 provides an opportunity to
encourage sustainable economic growth for the coasts and seas around Scotland
while affording protection to the full scope of the nationally important marine
archaeological resource. A series of data enhancement projects have been
commissioned in response to these changes: in England these have included the
Assessing Boats and Ships Project (Wessex Archaeology 2011a).
1.1.5 As part of this overall process the Scottish Government has issued Scotland’s
Marine Atlas. The cultural heritage section of the atlas is based on the ABP Mer