Postmedieval Ships and Seafaring in the West

Fred Hocker

in The Oxford Handbook of Maritime Archaeology

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Postmedieval Ships and Seafaring in the West

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Postmedieval maritime archaeology is focused more on naval ships than classical or medieval maritime archaeology. Merchant ship archaeology lived for many years in the shadow of naval ships. Ships and seafaring were an essential part of that growth and expansion, connecting remote parts of the world in a global economy. The period after 1400 is characterized by growth and bureaucratization in most of Europe. There were major developments in ship construction after 1400. In the Mediterranean, frame-based design and construction methods reached a stage of sophisticated geometrical precision. Mediterranean techniques began to be adopted along the Atlantic coast. The demographic and economic recovery of the fifteenth century and the globalization of seafaring lead to the use of a wider range of ship sizes. Privateering was a profitable enterprise in wartime. The growth of maritime archaeology was tied directly to popular cultural interest in perceived high points in national histories.

Keywords: postmedieval maritime archaeology; merchant ship archaeology; naval ships; ship construction; globalization; frame-based design

Article.  12870 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Industrial Archaeology

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