The Development of Maritime Archaeology

George F. Bass

in The Oxford Handbook of Maritime Archaeology

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195375176
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

The Development of Maritime Archaeology

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  • History and Theory of Archaeology


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This article highlights the development of maritime archaeology as a discipline. It is by watercraft that some areas and smaller islands of our planet, seas and oceans, have been discovered, explored, settled, exploited, supplied, and defended. Maritime archaeology has several branches including coastal archaeology, nautical archaeology, which is the largest and best-known of the subdisciplines of maritime archaeology. In the 1970s, maritime and nautical archaeology became academic disciplines. Maritime archaeology is today, a respected subject. Even in the field of nautical archaeology, there are various specializations. This article talks about the problem of lack of availability of thorough, scholarly publications of fieldwork. One of maritime archaeology's greatest challenges lies in educating the public about the purposes of archaeology. Both cultural resources or heritage management archaeologists and those from academic institutions often face time constraints in collecting and publishing as much information as possible on sites that might otherwise be lost forever.

Keywords: maritime archaeology; maritime cultures; underwater archaeology; nautical archaeology; heritage management; coastal archaeology

Article.  9567 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; History and Theory of Archaeology

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