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Scottish archaeology - Marine survey reveals Scapa Flow wrecks in detail

12 July 2012

Scottish archaeology - Marine survey reveals Scapa Flow wrecks in detail

A new marine survey undertaken by Wessex Archaeology for Historic Scotland has revealed the Scapa Flow wrecks in unprecedented detail.

A marine survey undertaken by Wessex Archaeology, on behalf of Historic Scotland, has revealed the wrecks of the Scapa Flow in unprecedented detail. The sub-sea survey, of Scapa Flow, Orkney, has mapped almost twenty historic wrecks, providing important evidence about the site's history as a naval base. Remarkable new details have been found on scuttled merchant ships from the twoWorld Wars, a German submarine,and a trawler used to operate boom defences at the entrance to Scapa Flow.

The results, which are available online at the Wessex Archaeology website are derived from high resolution sonar surveys on the sea bed, and build on earlier work from the ScapaMap project in 2001 and 2006, and Ministry of Defence studies undertaken to record the wreck of the battleship HMS Royal Oak.

Philip Robertson, Historic Scotland's Deputy Head of Scheduling and Marine said: 'The surveys are adding significantly to our understanding of what remains of the famous history of the wartime naval base of Scapa Flow,
and the defence of the naval anchorage.

'We hope the results will be of interest to the thousands of recreational divers who visit Scapa Flow every year, and that those who don't dive will also enjoy this insight into the heritage that survives beneath the waves.'

(The image shows Burra Sound at Scapa Flow, copyright Historic Scotland).

To read about the scuttling of the German fleet at Scapa Flow in 1919, click here.

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