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Underwater Archaeology
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  1. Underwater Archaeology Part I Research methods and goals

  2. Agenda • Methods • Applications • New reading: Chapter 24 in Archaeological Ethics. • Prepare to discuss questions 3,4 and 6 from the end of the chapter.

  3. Ethics “ It is easier (and more rewarding) to teach an archaeologist to be a diver than to teach a diver to be an archaeologist.” • ---George Bass, 1984

  4. “ There are times when a well trained diver can make a real and significant contribution to underwater archaeology.” ---George Bass, 2000

  5. Recognition of research value • Before 1960 no programs • 1978 One program engaged in UW archaeology • 1990 Seven programs • 2009 28 programs • Possible to get undergraduate certificate in underwater archaeology. Numerous universities now offer it as a specialty; several masters programs. One Ph.D. program.

  6. Laws • International regulation • ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) • UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) • UNCLOS (United Nations Council on Laws of the Sea) • National regulation • NHPA (National Historic Preservation Act) • Shipwreck Law 1987 • Each state required to establish uniform regulation.

  7. Measures and recording

  8. Proven Premise: • Archaeology underwater provides scientific data every bit as valid as land based, and often better. • All land based techniques can be adapted to marine archaeology. • Underwater archaeology can be particularistic or anthropological in scope.

  9. The “time capsule” analogy • principle of association • Preservation quality • environmental conditions • Long term curation • cost, time, space, personnel

  10. You do not have to be a diver to be involved in Marine Archaeology • Divers do the archaeological recovery, but research issues, conservation, analysis and theory building are done on dry land. • Marine archaeological methods are simply one more strategy and approach in an archaeologist's tool kit.

  11. Land based or underwter • Provenience control • Precise measurement • Recovery • Unique problems • Safety concerns

  12. Mapping underwater the old fashion way.

  13. Suction dredge for removal of overburden

  14. Accurate reconstruction of vessel Distinguishing cargo from private possessions of crew Learning route of vessel Learning ethnicity of crew Learning origin of ship Recovery of important artifacts Learning about technology Estimating economic loss Linking seafaring to broader social issues Reconstructing trade routes Exact recording allows

  15. Site plot

  16. Basic path • Interest in anthropology or archaeology • Interest in research questions that can be addressed through maritime focus. • Learn to dive. PADI, NAUI, SSI • Learn methods of recovery • AAUS certification (additional to above) • Learn conservation methods for artifacts brought out of aquatic environments.