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When the tide is out, the Thames is the longest open-air archaeological site in London, and much of the foreshore is freely accessible to the public. However, many of the exposed archaeological sites are unrecognised and unprotected, and almost all are vulnerable to the twice-daily scouring of the tidal river, thus requiring close monitoring.


The Thames Discovery Programme (TDP) is a community archaeology project operating in Greater London. Building on initiatives pioneered by the Museum of London’s Thames Archaeological Survey that took place from 1993 – 1999, the Thames Discovery Programme aims to communicate an understanding and informed enjoyment of the historic Thames to the widest possible audience.

many of which are available on our website for both the FROG and general public.



Now in its fifth year, TDP has trained over 400 volunteers who comprise the Foreshore Recording and Observation Group (FROG). The TDP team regularly provides training in fieldwork, computer technology, and historical research. We host an annual Foreshore Forum conference and a series of educational workshops and lectures throughout the year focusing on a wide range of topics including environmental archaeology and human remains. We grant our volunteers access to leading specialists in our field and encourage best practice in fieldwork and research through hands-on work, training, and through close links to the professional TDP and support team. As part of our programme we have created a range of supporting materials such as guides and factsheets,

The FROGs are dedicated members of the public who regularly monitor the archaeological features on the Thames foreshore. The term ‘crowd-sourcing’ has entered the community archaeology discourse in recent years as an innovative approach to collecting data in an increasingly strained economy. By enabling members of the community to build a relationship with each other and with the archaeological sites they work on, FROGs feel a sense of investment, ownership and pride in their volunteer work. We believe the key to this is continuity and extended involvement. In fact, many of the FROGs have formed close ties to other local organisations in the communities that surround their stretch of the foreshore. This has resulted in greater awareness of the Thames foreshore as an important archaeological resource. After the initial three years of the programme, TDP deposited their records with the Greater London Historic Environment Record and the FROG volunteers provided much of these data. For more information, visit us at:

TDP is hosted by Museum of London Archaeology. Follow us at:


Thames Discovery Programme