Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Archaeology and the Sea - Theory and Methods

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Classics and Archaeology

DESCRIPTION Over the millennia, the sea has provided a means of connecting regions through the movement of people, cultures and ideas. Likewise, the sea and related maritime economies have provided a livelihood for large segments of societies. Such interactions between humans and the sea have left their mark in a variety of forms, on land as well as underwater. This study-unit will introduce students to the study of diverse material remains related to human activities linked to the sea.

Other than material remains, emphasis shall also be placed on the context of such remains and how natural and human impacts influence site formation processes. It will also cover global attitudes towards this discipline as well as some of the most important projects in the field of maritime archaeology that have been executed to date.

Study-unit Aims:

The aims are to:

- Provide the student a broad overview of the general content, scope and development of maritime archaeology as a sub discipline of archaeology;
- Impart knowledge on current international conventions and legislation aimed at the protection of maritime heritage;
- Familiarise the student with key publications and a selection of major projects in the field of maritime archaeology;
- To train students how to identify maritime sites and to match appropriate methodologies for the survey and study of such sites;
- Instruct students on the various technologies available for the study of maritime archaeology;
- Instruct students in the use of the aforementioned technologies.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Describe the evolution of maritime archaeology as a specialised sub-discipline within the broader field of archaeology;
- Evaluate the contribution of maritime archaeology to the history of humankind;
- Identify the various tools available to the maritime archaeologist;
- Explain the relevance of various key projects and seminal publications.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Critically read and analyse academic texts related to the field of maritime archaeology;
- Utilise hardware and software used in offshore surveys;
- Efficiently plan and run an offshore survey;
- Identify significant local and international legislation and conventions related to the field of maritime archaeology.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- *Bowens, A. (2009) Underwater Archaeology – The NAS guide to principles and practice (Blackwell – 2nd Edition) (CC77.U5 U67
- *Catsambis, A., Ford, B. and Hamilton, D.F. (2011) The Oxford Handbook of Maritime Archaeology (Oxford University Press) (CC77 .O99)
- Cederlund, C.O. (2006) Vasa 1: the archaeology of a Swedish warship of 1628 (National Maritime Museums of Sweden) (VA595.V3C4)
- Green, J. (2004) Maritime Archaeology: a technical handbook (Elevier) (QE39 .G74 2004)
- Marriner, N., Morhange, C. and Goiran, J.P. (2010) Coastal and ancient harbour geoarchaeology Geology Today 26.1: 21-27.
- Marriner, N., Gambin, T., Djamali, M., Morhange, C. & Spiteri, M. 2012, Geoarchaeology of the Burmarrad ria and early Holocene human impacts in western Malta, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 339-341: 52--65. Available online through Researchgate and Academia websites.
- *Parker, A.J., (1992) Ancient Shipwrecks of the Mediterranean and the Roman Provinces (Oxford: British Archaeological Reports International Series 580, Tempus Reparatum). (CC77.P37)
- Parker, A.J. (1992a) Cargoes, containers and stowage: the ancient Mediterranean International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 21.2: 89-100.
- Swiny, S., Hohlfelder, R.L. and Wylde Swiny, H. (eds.) (1997) Res Maritimae: Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean from Prehistory to Late Antiquity (Atlanta: Scholars Press). Available at the Department of Classics and Archaeology.
- Throckmorton, P. (ed.) (1987), The Sea Remembers, From Homer’s Greece to the rediscovery of the Titanic, Shipwrecks and Archaeology (London). (CC77.U5 .S42)

Publications marked * signify main readings.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Co-Requisite Study-units: ARC5001, ARC5002, ARC5003, ARC5004, ARC5005, ARC5006

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Practicum & Seminar

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation (40 Minutes) SEM1 No 30%
Assignment SEM1 Yes 70%

LECTURER/S Fred Hocker
Morten Ravn
Anthony Burgess
Alexis Catsambis
Saviour Formosa
Belinda Gambin
Timothy Gambin
Liam Gauci
Reuben Grima
Darko Kovacevic
Irena Rodic Rossi
Ivan Tabone
John Wood

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.