Hulk Assemblages: Assessing the national context - MOLA Research Repository
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Hulk Assemblages: Assessing the national context

2013

Abstract

This document details the Hulk Assemblages Project, undertaken by Museum of London Archaeology, with input from the Thames Discovery Programme and the Nautical Archaeology Society. The aim of the project was to create a method for quantifying known hulk assemblages in England, and to create a nationwide database of hulk assemblages, that could be used to identify thematic, geographic and temporal gaps in the known data. A comprehensive survey of hulks or hulk assemblages in England has not previously been conducted. This project brings together data from multiple sources, including Historic Environment Records, the National Record of the Historic Environment, Rapid Coastal Zone Assessments, the National Historic Ships Register, and that held by specialist societies and research groups. A total of 199 hulk assemblages have been identified, ranging in size from two to more than 80 vessels; nine assemblages contained more than 20 vessels. Assemblages are most likely to be found in estuaries, creeks and harbours, however their distribution around England is biased by past recording, especially systematic recording done by local maritime and nautical archaeology societies and university departments. The study has revealed much variation in how hulks are recorded in Historic Environment Records, and in how they are described. Obvious geographic gaps in the distribution of assemblages are apparent. Densities of assemblages often coincide with areas where local specialist societies are active. These asset densities and gaps provided the basis for a number of general research priorities, such as known assemblages that have not been subject to detailed survey, and areas that would benefit from field survey to discover new assemblages.

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