Necessity, Not Novelty: Archaeology on Submerged Landscapes

Author(s): John O'Shea

Year: 2021


This is an abstract from the "Advances in Global Submerged Paleolandscapes Research" session, at the 86th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Despite recent advances in method and approach, the underwater archaeological record continues to make a negligible contribution of prehistoric research. This is due, in part, to a series of widespread but erroneous beliefs about the character of the submerged record. These include the belief that underwater finds are chance encounters that are not susceptible to systematic investigation, and that submerged sites and artifacts are only interpretable via reference to known terrestrial finds. This paper addresses these misconceptions. It is argued that the underwater context can be systematically investigated and, far from simply supplementing or amplifying what is already known from terrestrial research, can produce startling and unexpected results. These points are illustrated by reference to recent underwater research in Lake Huron and its implication for the “Standard Model” of Paleoindian archaeology in the Great Lakes region. It is concluded that terrestrial archaeologists ignore the underwater record at their peril.

Cite this Record

Necessity, Not Novelty: Archaeology on Submerged Landscapes. John O'Shea. Presented at The 86th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. 2021 ( tDAR id: 466939)

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 32153