A geological survey of Aberdeen Bay is to be carried out by the group behind plans for an offshore wind farm.
The study is thought to be the first of recent times, and will locate previously undetected shipwrecks, munitions and prehistoric settlements.
As well as yielding important archaeological evidence, it will also be used to decide where turbines should be built.
Scanning work will last a few days and is expected to start later this month.
Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG) hopes to build several turbines off the coast.
Iain Todd, of AREG, said: "The information we gain will be critical for designing our wind turbines, for the foundations. For example if we found an old shipwreck in a particular location, it might just affect exactly where we place a particular turbine."
Archaeological experts said they currently know very little about what lies on the sea bed of Aberdeen Bay, but expected to find shipwrecks and debris from bombing during World War II, as well as stone age relics.
Aberdeen Council's keeper of archaeology, Judith Stones, said: "We can suppose that there might be evidence of even a prehistoric settlement; there's a lot of coastal activity going back to at least 8,000 years ago.
"It's not impossible. What I'm talking about is Mesolithic shell middens, where hunter and gatherers thousands of years ago left the remains of their meals as they went from camp to camp.
"It's probably that kind of evidence you might expect to find rather than prehistoric villages."
The results of the survey will be known later this year.