Scapa Flow and the Protection and Management of Scotland's Historic Military Shipwrecks

By Oxley, Ian | Antiquity, September 2002 | Go to article overview

Scapa Flow and the Protection and Management of Scotland's Historic Military Shipwrecks


Oxley, Ian, Antiquity


Introduction

In the past Britain has been a global naval, mercantile and industrial power and, as an island which has benefited from successive waves of settlement, its history is inextricably linked to its surrounding seas (Lavery 2001). High volumes of shipping traffic and a long history of seafaring and warfare have contributed to a density of shipwreck remains in UK territorial waters which is likely to be amongst the highest in the world.

Recently warship wrecks have been given a significantly higher degree of attention in the UK and world-wide, and the recent `scheduling' of the German High Seas Fleet wrecks under the terms of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 (AMAA 1979) has led to new challenges in heritage management. At the same time as we are becoming aware of the value of these resources, the administrative, legislative, environmental and social frameworks in which they have to be managed are changing rapidly. Therefore new opportunities to protect submerged archaeological sites, and in particular warship wrecks, are accompanied by challenges such as integrating them with existing regimes (at national, regional and local level). Not least is the necessity to integrate the implementation of the three relevant pieces of UK legislation, namely the AMAA 1979, the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 (POW 1973) and the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986 (POMR 1986).

This paper considers administrative and practical issues regarding the management of the underwater heritage in Scotland, focusing on the initial results of the ScapaMAP research project (which is supported by Historic Scotland) on the seven 1914-18 War wrecks that have importance as military sites, with the added archaeological significance as monuments to events of national and international concern in the recent past.

Background

In contrast to many overseas countries, where the preferred approach to shipwreck heritage management is based on a high level of marine environmental knowledge, the UK has a relatively undistinguished record, and professional maritime archaeology is poorly developed (Fenwick & Gale 1998). In Scotland the discipline is faced with inadequate maritime sites and monument records (at national and local level) and submerged remains have yet to receive full appreciation. For example, although Hunter (2000) refers to a relative neglect of military remains in Scotland, a situation partly rectified by the Defence of Britain Project, the disparity between land and marine sites is exacerbated by the fact that attention in such initiatives is paid almost exclusively to remains on land or in the inter-tidal zone.

There are many reasons for these differences in approach. The submerged archaeological resource cannot be easily accessed without specialist skills, techniques and equipment. Ironically, such logistical requirements can be readily acquired by recreational divers, yet they are not generally available on the required scale to official agencies. Consequently access to the resource, situated in a potentially hazardous environment subject to continuous and sometimes rapidly destructive change, is relatively expensive. As a result the data collected on submerged archaeological sites are of variable quality, and to a large extent unverified. The resource is generally poorly researched, not well understood and not usually included in research frameworks (e.g. English Heritage 2000). The type of data needed to understand these sites and all the factors affecting them are not well-defined. Nationally, few sites have been investigated or assessed by a competent archaeological authority in terms of their preservation and susceptibility to impacts.

It is clear that the management of the submerged cultural heritage is a global issue as strengthening national regulation is pushing interested parties into international waters. This shift, accompanied by a trend on the part of shipwreck explorers towards gaining rewards from marketing global media rights rather than scrapping valuable materials or auctioning artefacts, serves to attract further attention which triggers the development of international regulation such as the UN Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Scapa Flow and the Protection and Management of Scotland's Historic Military Shipwrecks
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.