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Wednesday, 22 May, 2002, 12:29 GMT 13:29 UK
Divers explore key prehistoric site
Hurst Beach from freefoto.com
Hurst Beach on the Solent Way near the maritime site
An underwater prehistoric site in Hampshire, considered one of the most important in the UK, is to be examined by archaeologists.

Diving equipment will be used to try to find artefacts from the submerged site in the western Solent, near Hurst Castle.

English Heritage recently became responsible for ancient monuments around the coastline and chose the Solent site as the first maritime location it explored.

The Solent area is known to be an area rich in prehistoric remains - artefacts found indicate that settlements existed 8,500 years ago.


Britain's maritime heritage is one of the richest in the world

David Miles English Heritage

The project to widen maritime exploration will also involve the use of amateur and sports divers to help out.

David Miles, chief archaeologist for English Heritage, said: "The work that is being done here in the Solent demonstrates that maritime archaeology can teach us just as much as terrestrial archaeology."

"Britain's maritime heritage is one of the richest in the world."

English Heritage's underwater projects are being funded with a 500,000 government grant.

The National Heritage Act 2002 made ancient monuments within a 12-mile limit around England's 3,400-mile coastline the responsibility of English Heritage.


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See also:

21 May 02 | England
17 May 02 | England
10 May 02 | England
16 Mar 02 | England
26 Sep 01 | England
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