IMPACT: A NEW STRUCTURAL FRAMEWORK FOR SUSTAINABLE IN SITU PRESERVATION OF UNDERWATER CULTURAL HERITAGE
ENDURE’s conceptual approach will fundamentally change the management of underwater archaeological sites and cultural heritage. The framework proposed within ENDURE is holistic, and quantitative and will provide a hitherto unprecedented understanding of the decay of UCH due to natural and anthropogenic processes. This will go further than the current state of the art by enabling the ranking of the preservation / decay potential of sites based on their Entropy, thus allowing quantitative assessment of sites over large areas.
Ultimately ENDURE will use quantitative data that is routinely collected by marine practitioners, which can be increasingly remotely assessed, harmonised and integrated into the management strategies of other users of the sea / seabed including Integrated Assessment (IA) and marine spatial planning (MSP). Although not all types of UCH will be addressed directly, the concept is not restricted to individual sites but whole geographical areas, and because of the processual nature of establishing site Entropy, these methods could be applied to other site types. The use of novel and sustainable methods to slow decay will facilitate the in situ preservation of select sites; yet through curated decay it will be possible to build upon the societal, cultural and economic impacts of the project.