Desk Based Services

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MSDS Marine offer a range of desk based archaeological services, including; impact assessment, written schemes of investigation (WSIs), method statements, research, articles, project designs and specialist reports such as geophysical interpretation, assessment of significance and management reports. MSDS Marine can also help with funding applications, project planning, logistics, outreach material and risk assessments. A necessity of most desk based projects is the use of geographical information systems (GIS), MSDS Marine own and use the industry standard software projects and can provide data in a variety of formats.


Of importance to any archaeological project is research, be this to help understand the archaeological potential of an area of seabed, assess the significance of a site or to help understand or identify sites and artefacts. MSDS Marine routinely undertake research using a large number of sources including the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office, local, national and international archives, museums, historical newspapers, libraries and personal interviews.

Development, Construction and Environment Impact Assessments

MSDS Marine provide a full range of desk based services required during the planning and construction phases of infrastructure, development and construction projects, we have experience providing services to a variety of projects including offshore windfarms, cable routing, aggregate extraction and harbour developments. Our experience with the marine planning process means we are able to provide advice and support through all stages of the licencing, planning and construction process. Our services include environmental impact assessment and mitigation planning, interpretation of geophysical and hydrographic data, written schemes of investigation and method statements, statements of significance and all other works as required to discharge archaeological conditions on marine licences.

Geographic Information Systems

MSDS Marine offer a full range of GIS services. Our staff have experience in the interpretation, analysis and creation of GIS data and have worked on a wide range of GIS- based projects, for both research and EIA purposes, spanning the marine, coastal and terrestrial zones. In particular, we have an in-depth understanding of the varied issues involved with the use of marine GIS, and can use different software packages (ArcGIS and Quantum GIS) depending on our client’s needs. MSDS Marine always ensure that our products, including survey data, are provided in a format compatible with most GIS software packages.

Recording, Structured Light Scanning and Photogrammetry

Other desk based services include the archaeological recording of artefacts both traditionally through drawing and photography but also with the use of 3D techniques such as photogrammetry and structured light scanning. Our team regularly use these techniques to not only gain detailed records but also to create interactive models that not only aid in archaeological interpretation but present interactive models that can be viewed by the public. Example of some of our 3D models can be found on the MSDS Marine Sketchfab