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The Thames Discovery Programme – London

October 28, 2008

About the Project
When the tide is out, the Thames is the longest open-air archaeological site in London, and much of the foreshore is freely-accessible. However, many of the exposed sites are often unrecognised, while all are vulnerable to the daily scouring of the tidal river, and thus require close monitoring. Building on initiatives pioneered by the Museum of London’s Thames Archaeological Survey (1993-9), and the Thames Explorer Trust’s innovative education projects, the thames discovery programme aims to communicate an understanding and informed enjoyment of the historic Thames to the widest possible audience. This ambitious project is hosted by the Thames Estuary Partnership, in the UCL Environment Institute, and the Thames Explorer Trust, with generous support from Heritage Lottery Funding. Other partners include the Museum of London, English Heritage∞and the UCL Institute of Archaeology.

Community Outreach
We are developing a new Outreach Project, working with schools, river user-groups and the wider community through a new programme of targeted teaching, special events and through the development of interpretive material. This part of our public programme is run by our Outreach Officer

Archaeological Survey
We also employ a team of archaeologists undertaking an Archaeological Survey of the exposed and threatened sites on the foreshore. This new ‘Beta Survey’ updates and extends the original ‘Alpha Survey’ recorded some ten years ago and the resulting data passed to the Greater London Sites and Monuments Record (GLSMR). Our archaeologists actively encourage public participation in the subsequent monitoring of these threatened sites. They will train up the new Foreshore Record Observation Group (FROG), with its membership drawn from local communities. This team will then systematically monitor the key sites on a regular basis, providing a long-term sustainable future for the monitoring and enjoyment of the river’s historic maritime heritage. Our Community Archaeologists will be based with another one of our partner institutions, the Museum of London, at Mortimer Wheeler House.

You can contact Team Leader Nathalie Cohen and David Jamieson, the Community Archaeologists for the Thames Discovery Programme c/o: LAARC
Mortimer Wheeler House
46 Eagle Wharf Road
London N1 7ED

Getting involved
We are actively seeking public participation and hope to include as many people as possible in the project over the next three years. If you are interested in becoming involved with FROG, sessions for schools, groups, special events or just want to find out more, please contact the Outreach Officer∞ Lorna Richardson


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