Wreck of the Coonatto, East Sussex


Project partner: 
Heritage Lottery Fund, National Trust, The Crown Estate, Historic England, Council for British Archaeology, Nautical Archaeology Society

Significant archaeological sites along our sinuous coast and on the foreshores of our tidal estuaries are continually eroded by winds, waves and tidal scour. CITiZAN (Coastal and Intertidal Zone Archaeological Network) is the first systematic national response to this threat.

The project focuses on nationally important, exposed archaeological sites: the remains of prehistoric forests, Roman buildings, ancient salt-working sites, lost medieval ports, fishing settlements, coastal defences from both World Wars and countless abandoned boats, barges and ships. The CITiZAN project delivers community-based training to create an infrastructure and network of volunteers with the skills and systems to be able to record, monitor and celebrate the highly significant, but fragile and threatened archaeological sites.

Heritage Minister, Tracey Crouch,  said: "As someone who grew up on the coast I believe this to be a hugely important project to record the fascinating history of our coastline. The 70,000 sites that are at risk tell the story of our shared national heritage, so it's vital they are surveyed before the sea takes them. No where in Britain is more than 70 miles from the coast, so I would urge anyone to take the opportunity to get involved."

The project has developed a standardised survey, monitoring and web-based recording system citizan.org.uk/interactive-coastal-map and delivers a national training programme to participants through three regional centres, in London with project lead MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology), in York with partner organisation the Council for British Archaeology and in Portsmouth with the Nautical Archaeology Society. A national network is being established to monitor, record, and interpret coastal and intertidal sites, and actively engage CITiZAN volunteers through our the website and outreach programme.

CITiZAN has received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, coupled with matched funding from The Crown Estate and National Trust and further support from Historic England, enabling our community archaeologists to deliver the three-year community programme.

CITiZAN is recruiting volunteers from August 2015. For more information please visit citizan.org.uk or contact us at citizan@mola.org.uk.

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