Maritime archaeology is a multi-faceted scientific discipline which entails a variety subjects ranging from historical research to high-resolution geophysical surveys. Contrary to popular belief, maritime archaeology work is often performed on land away from any body of water. While a lot of these tasks can be regarded as administrative, they are vital for projects in regards to permitting and regulatory compliance guidelines.
At Thompson Maritime Consulting, LLC, we specialize in a diverse array of services which provide our clients with the guidance and tools needed to make informed decisions regarding their projects. We want our clients to have a full understanding of all matters concerning cultural heritage, legislative matters, permitting specifications, and other matters concerning data processing and presentation.
We provide the following On Land Services:
Section 106 Compliance and National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) Nominations
In accordance with the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), nearly all archaeological surveys have to be in compliance with specified guidelines pertaining to the identification and documentation of cultural heritage resources. Section 106 is part of the compliance regulatory effort to ensure that projects both above and under the water do not inadvertently disturb or damage any cultural materials. Projects must satisfy specific Section 106 criteria for permitting approval. In the event culturally significant resources are discovered, the remains may be eligible for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places and placed under a protective status. This process can be somewhat intimidating and overwhelming to those not familiar with the process. We guide our clients through the process and assist them in making informed decisions to what should be done to remain in compliance with federal and state cultural heritage regulations.
Acoustic Data Processing and Analysis
We use SonarWiz 7 acoustic post-processing software to process data collected from side scan sonars (SSS), sub-bottom profilers (SBP), and seismic reflection profiling equipment (sparkers). The post-processed data can be used to produce a series of end products which can be used for project reports and presentations which include mosaics, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets (CSV format), and other data exports.
Magnetic Data Processing and Analysis
For processing magnetic data collecting during a marine remote sensing survey, we use HYPACK software to plot and classify any detected magentic anomalies. The magnetic anomalies are presented in a detailed report and the processed files can be overlaid acoustic imagery in a variety of post-processing software programs for additional target verification.
Digital Photogrammetry Image Processing
In the past two decades, digital photogrammetry has emerged as an efficient and accurate method of site documentation for archaeological resources both above and below the water surface. We use Agisoft Metashape, one of the industry's leading photogrammetry software manufacturer, to produce detailed three-dimensional (3D) models of archaeological sites. For more information regarding our underwater photogrammetry services, please review our Underwater Services list and see how we revolutionized this process.
In the U.S., and many countries throughout the world, construction projects may be required to have a qualified maritime archaeologist review processed datasets for interpretative analysis of any potential cultural materials. This is a critical component for all inshore and offshore projects which can determine if additional permitting steps are required for regulatory compliance.
Desk-Based Site and Information Analysis
In this era of digital site documentation techniques, we have the ability to perform site assessments of datasets collected both above and underwater without having been physically on site during the data acquisition process. A Desk-Based Analysis (DBA) can involve a series of issues which directly impact archaeological site integrity and resources preservation. Such matters may include pipeline or cable route selection, environmental impact studies, burial assessment surveys, and probability of discovering archaeological remains.
Archival and Historical Research
The keys to understanding and interpreting the past often lie hidden within the pages of the written record. Knowing where and how to access written materials are critical to any archaeological project. We have access to informational databases throughout the world in which we are able to conduct archival and historical information searches to better understand any corresponding physical resources.
Education and Public Outreach
We understand the importance in engaging the public for increasing awareness for the continued preservation of cultural heritage. As part of our commitment to this endeavor, we offer a variety of services designed specfically for this purpose which include museum curation, public lectures, site tours, and various form of digital media.
Do you have a question?
If you have a question regarding our On Land Services for your projects, do not hesitate to ask! We are more than willing to discuss aspects of your project to determine the type of services you may need for permitting and regulatory compliance. Use the link below to access our Contact information.