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Shipwreck Anthropology


Edited by Richard A. Gould

“Shipwrecks are part of the legitimate domain of anthropology and can produce results that are as significant for our ability to explain variability in human behavior as any other kind of archaeology, whether it deals with stone tools in a European Paleolithic rockshelter or ceramics contained in a sixteenth-century Spanish shipwreck.” So argues Richard A. Gould, the editor of this volume originating from a 1981 School of American Research advanced seminar.

Historical, classical, and anthropological traditions in archaeology are all represented, as are more specialized approaches—such as ethnoarchaeology, experimental archaeology, and public archaeology—in the attempt to determine how the study of shipwrecks can inform and enlarge upon our general view of man’s relationship to his maritime environment. With the field in a period of transition, the appearance of this compendium is especially timely. Important trends in shipwrecks as anthropological phenomena are identified and prime considerations for further work are laid out.

While the old stereotype of the shipwreck archaeologist as a sport diver or a treasure hunter has been dispelled forever, all the contributors recognize the threat to future study that treasure hunters pose. As this volume shows, the wealth of anthropologically useful information that could be lost is enormous.

1983. 288 pp., figures, references, index, 6 x 9

Contributors: George F. Bass, Cheryl Claassen, Wilburn A. Cockrell, Richard A. Gould, Daniel J. Lenihan, Mark P. Leone, Stephen A. Mrozowski, Larry Murphy, Peter R. Schmidt, E. Gary Stickel, Patty Jo Watson

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  1. Looking Below the Surface: Shipwreck Archaeology as Anthropology
    Richard A. Gould
  2. Method and Theory in Shipwreck Archaeology
    Patty Jo Watson
  3. Rethinking Shipwreck Archaeology: A History of Ideas and Considerations for New Directions
    Daniel J. Lenihan
  4. Shipwrecks as Data Base for Human Behavioral Studies
    Larry Murphy
  5. A Plea for Historical Particularism in Nautical Archaeology
    George F. Bass
  6. The Archaeology of War: Wrecks of the Spanish Armada of 1588 and the Battle of Britain, 1940
    Richard A. Gould
  7. History, Smugglers, Change, and Shipwrecks
    Peter R. Schmidt and Stephen A. Mrozowski
  8. Land and Water, Urban Life, and Boats: Underwater Reconnaissance in Chesapeake Bay
    Mark P. Leone
  9. Answering Our Questions with Experiments
    Cheryl Claassen
  10. A Trial Classification Model for the Analysis of Shipwrecks
    Wilburn A. Cockrell
  11. The Mystery of the Prehistoric “Chinese Anchors”: Toard Research Designs for Underwater Archaeology
    E. Gary Stickel
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