Case Studies in Maritime Archaeology

Part of: Society for Historical Archaeology 2014

A broad range of approaches can be used to address archaeological, historical and anthropological questions in Maritime Archaeology. This session presents papers from a range of chronological periods, theoretical approaches and practical case studies in Maritime Archaeology.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-10 of 10)

  • Documents (10)

  • Above and Beyond the Lowstand: Three Lithic Artifacts Recovered from the Gulf of Maine (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Franklin Price. Arthur Spiess.

    This paper will discuss three prehistoric lithic artifacts discovered by fishermen in the area of Mount Desert Island, Maine. All three artifacts were recovered while using heavy equipment to harvest shellfish from the seafloor. The first two artifacts were found by scallop draggers in areas sub-aerial during the last glacial lowstand, making it possible that they are from submerged terrestrial contexts. The third find was brought to the surface in a quahog bucket from depths below the lowstand,...

  • Dark Knights and Dimout Lights : Archaeological Analysis of Two World War II Merchant Vessels in the Gulf of Mexico (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Eric Swanson.

    Two merchant ships, S.S. R.W. Gallagher and S.S. Cities Service Toledo, were sunk by German U-Boats in the Gulf of Mexico in 1942. They were investigated for their historical significance under a project led by BOEM/BSEE archaeologists in 2010. These two shipwreck sites provide an opportunity to analyze maritime casualties within the broader framework of battlefield archaeology. Furthermore, they provide examples of capsizing events that help explain why ships end up inverted on the sea...

  • The Design and Creation of «CSS David»: Memoirs of the Boats Builder (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only John D. Littlefield.

    The American Civil War saw the need for many advances in naval warfare. The design of the CSS David semi-submersible torpedo boat proved to be an important innovation. The original David, of which at least 18 other versions were based, was the first vessel to successfully explode a torpedo against an enemy warship’s hull. This single event was the precursor to both the modern torpedo and the submarine, yet the story of the ‘Little David’ remains little known. Details of David’s origin and...

  • Gamming Chairs and Gimballed Beds: Women aboard 19th-century Ships (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Laurel Seaborn.

    Wives, sisters, daughters and nieces of captains went to sea on merchant and whaling ships during the 19th century. They lived aboard contributing as nurses, nannies and navigators, and in extreme cases took command of the ship. These women chronicled their experiences in journals and letters now found in historical archives, but they remain difficult to find in the maritime archaeological record. Primary documents make mention of several items built or brought specifically for women on ships,...

  • In Southern Waters: Archaeological Manifestations of the War of 1812 along the seacoast of South Carolina (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only James Spirek.

    The War of 1812 along the South Carolina seacoast consisted of British Royal Navy attacks on American shipping plying coastal waters, plundering sea island plantations, and blockading the port cities of Georgetown, Charleston, and Beaufort. In an effort to protect American commerce and coastal populations from British depredations, United States naval forces patrolled coastal and offshore waters and engaged the enemy in ship-to-ship actions and in small boat skirmishes. As a result of these...

  • An Influx of Yankee Dollars and Ingenuity: The Archaeological Remains of Northwest Florida’s Cypress Logging Industry (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only John Bratten. Rebecca Booker-DeMonbreun.

    During the early 20th century, industrious woodsmen conducted extensive logging operations in Northwest Florida’s wetlands to harvest cypress. Man-made canals and timber drag lines radiating like the spokes of a wagon wheel are still visible from the air and in the swamps today. Archaeological survey conducted in and along the banks of the Escambia River reveals not only the extent of the operations, but also the submerged remains of small lumber «barges» and what are interpreted as floating...

  • People’s Collection Wales and the Great Gale of October 1859 (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Deanna Groom.

    On the night of 25-26 October 1859, a devastating hurricane hit the United Kingdom causing large numbers of shipping losses. The loss of life associated with one ship, the ROYAL CHARTER, was so great that it sent the nation into mourning and gave impetus to the estblishment of a storm warning service and the establishment of UK’s Met Office. The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales has been working with Cadw, the Welsh Government’s heritage agency, and the...

  • Re-inventing the Spatial Analysis of Shipwrecks (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Mike Moloney.

    Investigation into underwater archaeology began, inevitably with the investigation of shipwrecks. As the discipline developed we sought to explore a greater variety of sites, and the investigation of shipwrecks experienced less prominence. But have we truly conquered shipwrecks? This paper examines the geospatial components of shipwreck sites in an effort to reconstruct the social dynamics of shipboard society. Shipwrecks are often the result of site formation processes that ‘spill’ the...

  • Transformations of a man, his ship and archaeology: James Cook, the Endeavour Bark, and RIMAP (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only D.K. Abbass. Kerry Lynch.

    The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project has mapped eight of thirteen British transports sunk in Newport Harbor in 1778, one of which was Capt. Cook’s Endeavour Bark. Our preliminary studies advance the understanding of 18th-century ship management, and validate assumptions about the adaptive re-use of marine technologies. The Endeavour’s transformations from collier, to Royal Navy explorer, to Lord Sandwich transport, and then overlooked wreck, are an obvious example of re-use that...

  • William Pile and the China tea clipper Undine (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Andrew Lydecker. Michael Faught.

    Archival research and archaeological investigations have identified an unknown shipwreck in the Savannah River as the remains of the Undine, a British-built China Tea Clipper. In a class with other famous Clippers like the Flying Cloud and the Cutty Sark, the Undine represents the evolution apex of the sailing merchantman, and is in the class of the most significant clippers, those built specifically for the China Tea or Opium trade. The vessel also represents the work of William Pile who was...