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Falling in the Deep End: Interpretation of Archaeological Sites in Deep Water

Author(s): Della Scott-Ireton ; Christopher Horrell

Year: 2014

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Investigation of archaeological sites in extreme depths is becoming more main-stream, with governmental agencies growing concerned with resource management, academic institutions moving toward teaching the necessary specialized techniques, contract firms developing survey and remote sensing methodologies, and the public recognizing the amazing sites that can be found. In the quest to locate and identify shipwrecks in deep water, we as anthropologists must take care to ensure both archaeological science and public engagement are carried out through research design and actual practice. Although generally isolated on the seafloor, deepwater sites are nevertheless part of the connecting web of maritime endeavor and should be interpreted as such. Further, this interpretation should inform strategies for public engagement to prevent a focus on technology and artifact recovery resulting in deepwater shipwrecks becoming seen as merely repositories of artifacts rather than archaeological sites requiring theoretical and methodological approaches to extrapolate meaningful interpretations of the data.

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Falling in the Deep End: Interpretation of Archaeological Sites in Deep Water. Della Scott-Ireton, Christopher Horrell. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437245)

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-69,09

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