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The Underwater Archaeology of Red Bay, Labrador: A Large-Scale Project Conducted in Sub-Arctic Waters

Author(s): Peter Wadell ; Robert Grenier

Year: 2014

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Summary

In 1978, the discovery of a 1565 Basque whaling galleon in Red Bay Labrador by a Parks Canada team of underwater archaeologists led to the first ever large-scale excavation in sub-Arctic waters, which in turn triggered the development of innovative techniques and methods in the discipline. The techniques used in the underwater archaeology of Red Bay were the cumulative result of more than a decade of intensive fieldwork and experience acquired since 1964. In turn, it left a legacy of high standards for the Underwater Archaeology Service of Parks Canada, and raised the recognition of the organisation by peers. The recent nomination of Red Bay as a UNESCO World Heritage site is the last of a series of international nominations recognizing the importance of the site. As part of a session discussing large-scale excavations, this paper will discuss what made this large and challenging project successful, notwithstanding the remoteness and the 0 degree Celsius water.


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Cite this Record

The Underwater Archaeology of Red Bay, Labrador: A Large-Scale Project Conducted in Sub-Arctic Waters. Peter Wadell, Robert Grenier. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436558)


Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-2,03

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America