Maritime History and Maritime Archaeology

Francisco C. Domingues

in The Oxford Handbook of Maritime Archaeology

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Maritime History and Maritime Archaeology

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  • Archaeology
  • Historical Archaeology



Maritime history embraces naval history, which is the relationship of human societies with the sea. Maritime history began to be recognized as a disciplinary field about half a century ago. In this context, archaeology is defined as the systematic study of past human life, behaviors, activities, and cultures using material remains and the relationships among them. Underwater archaeology defines archaeological activities carried out underwater and includes inland water activity. This article defines and underlines the distinctions between underwater archaeology, marine archaeology, and nautical archaeology. Maritime archaeology has undergone a boost in recent years. This article elucidates that both maritime archaeology and maritime history focus on the relationship between human societies and the maritime world, i.e., they have a common subject matter but have different theoretical and methodological perspectives. This is explained by a case study of the Pepper Wreck.

Keywords: maritime history; maritime archaeology; underwater archaeology; nautical archaeology; marine archaeology; naval history

Article.  4135 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Historical Archaeology

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