The Formation of a West African Maritime Seascape: Atlantic Trade, Shipwrecks, and Formation Processes on the Coast of Ghana

Author(s): Rachel Horlings

Year: 2013

Summary

Vessels engaged in the Atlantic trade with West Africa contended with rough seas and dangerous shorelines that offered few natural harbors. To combat this, ships generally anchored offshore in deeper water and used small vessels for trade and communication with trading establishments on shore. While the underwater seascape was a determining factor in navigation, the surface landscape was both fashioned by, and played dramatic roles in, the development of trade and navigation.  The intersection of ocean dynamics, dangerous seafloor and shoreline features, and shore-based trading centers formed the maritime seascape of the past and informs our understanding of it in the present. A shipwreck, other maritime sites, and coastal adaptations for trade in this zone illustrate these interrelated and tenuous relationships and the formation processes of historical maritime trade in Elmina, coastal Ghana.

Cite this Record

The Formation of a West African Maritime Seascape: Atlantic Trade, Shipwrecks, and Formation Processes on the Coast of Ghana. Rachel Horlings. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428365)

Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 470