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research goals

[1] To demonstrate that ancient landscapes are preserved on the seabed of inshore coastal waters. It is likely that some exposed landscapes did not survive inundation by rising sea level, and in the case of Newfoundland, the grinding power of annual sea ice may have further limited site preservation.  There is abundant evidence, however, from submerged environments on the Atlantic shore and in the North Sea that rooted forests, undisturbed peat, and in-situ archaeological sites are preserved on the seafloor or thinly buried by marine mud.  Once located and mapped, these landscapes would be sampled to determine age, character (e.g. coastal vs. riverine) and environment (e.g. vegetation, climate).

[2] To locate and record archaeological sites and materials preserved on these submerged landscapes. Although this task may have in the past proven technologically challenging and intellectually frustrating - advancements in seabed mapping and the development of robust predictive models have made survey design more successful.

[3] To understand how early coastal environments facilitated the expansion and growth of the first populations of Ireland and Newfoundland. And how the evolving coastal landscape and marine resources may have stimulated social and cultural change across prehistoric times and into the Middle Ages.