Institute of Archaeology

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Hanna Steyne

A River Runs Through It: Enhancing our understanding of 19th century London through an examination of the city’s riverside archaeology

The engineering genius and sanitary improvements achieved by the Thames Embankment construction have overshadowed the wholesale removal of employment opportunities along the riverside, permanently impacting the lives of the working and poorer classes. The nature of this impact is the subject of my research, which will bring both an archaeological and riverine focus to the historiography of 19th century London, using an ‘ethnography of place’ approach to the historic landscape of the Thames riverside. The methodology will enable the connection to be made between micro-histories, social change and urban landscapes, by using and adapting urban historical archaeological approaches and spatial analysis.

In order to understand the impact of the Embankment, the landscape and community of the pre-and post-Embankment Thames must first be explored. To this end, the research will aim to answer the following questions:

· What was the urban landscape of the Victorian Thames riverside pre- and post-Embankment?

· What was the social and economic make-up of the Victorian Thames riverside community pre- and post-Embankment?

· What employment opportunities were available along the Thames riverside pre and post-Embankment?

By investigating these questions, my research will provide a better understanding of impact the Embankment construction had on riverine Londoners, and thereby enhance our understanding of the dramatic changes imposed upon working class and poor Victorian Londoners.


Educational background

  • BA, Archaeology, UCL, 2000
  • MA, Maritime Archaeology, University of Southampton, 2002

MacLeod, I. and Steyne, H. 2011. Managing a Monitor – the case of HMVS Cerberus in Port Phillip Bay: Integration of Corrosion Measurements with Site Management Strategies. Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites. 13.4: 334-61.

Steyne, H. & MacLeod, I. 2011. In-situ conservation management of historic iron shipwrecks in Port Phillip Bay: a study of J7 (1924), HMVS Cerberus (1926) and City of Launceston (1865). The Bulletin of the Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology. 35: 67-80.

Steyne, H. 2010. Managing sites you can’t see: developing a management approach for inaccessible shipwreck sites. The Bulletin of the Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology. 34: 50-56.

Steyne, H. 2010. Public Access to Historic Shipwrecks: Guidelines 2010. Heritage Council of Victoria, Melbourne.

Steyne, H. 2010. Cegrass™, Sand and Marine Habitats: A Sustainable Future for the

William Salthouse Wreck. Papers from the AIMA/ASHA conference, Adelaide 2008. PAST Foundation.

Steyne, H. 2009. Submerged Landscapes of Port Phillip Bay. Newsletter of the Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology. 28.3


‘Heritage Management Nirvana: Combining outreach, research and conservation in the management of historic shipwrecks in Victoria, Australia.’ Managing the Underwater Cultural Heritage. International Congress on Underwater Archaeology (IKUWA) 4, Zadar, Croatia, 2011.

Session Chair. ‘In situ preservation’ IKUWA 4. Zadar, Croatia, 2011.

Conference organiser. Perceptions and Misconceptions of Maritime Heritage: Accuracy and Impact in the public domain. (Annual conference of AIMA), Melbourne, Australia, 2010.

Investigating the Submerged Landscapes of Port Phillip Bay. Australian Archaeological Association Conference. Adelaide, Australia, 2009.

Managing sites you can’t see: Developing a management policy for deep water shipwrecks. In a Global Context, Launceston, September, 2009. (Combined conference AIMA, ASHA)

Investigating the Submerged Landscapes of Port Phillip Bay Managing Country Together: Coastal Forum. Point Nepean, Australia, 2008.

Cegrass, Sand and Marine Habitats: A Sustainable Future for the William Salthouse Wreck. Archaeology from Below, Engaging the Public. Adelaide, Australia, 2008. (Combined conference of AIMA, ASHA, AAMH)

Integrated diver tracking systems for underwater archaeological site investigations. New Ground: Australasian Archaeology Conference. Sydney, Australia. 2007. (Combined conference of AAA, AIMA, ASHA, AACA, AAMH)

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