10. Concluding Remarks

Past research on coastal and island communities has largely remained landlocked with little consideration given to the role of the sea. This article has attempted to refocus our attention towards the sea. This approach could, perhaps rightly, be accused of over-emphasising the significance of the sea within accounts of prehistory. However, the emphasis placed upon the relationship between the archaeological record and the sea within this article is intentional and necessary. This focus was intended to redress the current imbalance within research and to sensitise us to the potential role that the sea may have played in prehistory. Central to the development of the themes and ideas explored in this article is the need for better archaeological data on coastal and island communities. Excavation and survey needs to be alerted of the potential for the archaeological evidence to reveal valuable sources of information on the economic and social basis of coastal communities and for the identification of the transient traces within the record, such as skinboats and structures associated with landing places. It has been argued that the sea, like the land, would have held great significance to people in the past, and while providing challenges to its study, should be considered in archaeological accounts of British prehistory.


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