Museums and Maritime Archaeology

Michael McCarthy

in The Oxford Handbook of Maritime Archaeology

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Museums and Maritime Archaeology

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  • Archaeology
  • Historical Archaeology



This article reflects the role of universities, training institutes, foundations, and conservation laboratories in presenting an in situ underwater display case at an excavation, or a wreck, submerged structure, or dwelling. Therefore, the term “museum” includes both traditional museums as well as institutions that curate and display archaeological data. Museums represent one of the main outlets for maritime, underwater, and nautical archaeological materials. This article describes the early collection strategies of the archaeological data and explains how this concept came into being. Many prominent maritime archeologists were drawn in into universities, forming study collections. Some of these evolved into private museums. This article highlights threats to museums and maritime archaeology, such as lack of resources. There will be great excavations, recording, and raisings of relics, ships, and structures. The trend of bold new maritime archaeological museums is already visible in some countries, and will continue in the foreseeable future.

Keywords: underwater display; archaeological data; museums; maritime archaeological materials; excavation

Article.  8939 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Historical Archaeology

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