Approaches to maritime archaeology often concentrate on ships and their material remains and while this is an entirely legitimate approach, it can largely ignore the people and the communities that created, sustained and sailed on them.
This paper will provide an overview of key theoretical and conceptual issues relevant to maritime archaeology, and will explore a broad range of social, cultural, technological and environmental issues relating to the creation of maritime societies both on land and at sea. It will examine the development of maritime cultural landscapes and port towns, shipboard societies, and maritime subcultures, alongside themes such as maritime economies, warfare, technological change, and religion, ritual, and superstition.
The paper will stress archaeological perspectives on maritime societies, but will also draw upon anthropological, palaeoenvironmental, documentary, and other sources of information to offer a holistic approach. In covering this range of themes, the paper will address maritime societies and seafaring through time, from the earliest records of coastal subsistence and movement across the sea through to maritime activities documented in textual sources.
Convenors: Dr. Damian Robinson and Dr. Linda Hulin