Public Engagement through Maritime Landscapes

Author(s): Ben Ford

Year: 2018


The future of American Archaeology lies in its ability to engage the public and demonstrate the field’s relevance to a broad range of communities. One way that maritime archaeology can contribute to this future is through identifying and interpreting maritime landscapes. A maritime landscape approach draws on the "lure of the sea" that attracts many people to shipwreck studies, but engages larger constituencies through place-based history. Geographic space is one of the things that all people share and maritime landscapes loom large for many cultures due to the power, beauty, bounty, danger, and opportunity that water bodies hold. Maritime landscapes also allow for alternative histories to exist in the same space because landscapes are interpreted through a cultural lens. Groups that may be disenfranchised by the colonial histories often associated with shipwrecks can connect with maritime archaeology through the physical remains of their ancestors’ maritime occupations and beliefs. In these, and other ways, a maritime landscape approach gives maritime archaeology a broad church perspective that will help ensure a long, productive, and engaged future.

Cite this Record

Public Engagement through Maritime Landscapes. Ben Ford. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443549)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -168.574; min lat: 7.014 ; max long: -54.844; max lat: 74.683 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20252