John Peter Oleson and Robert L. Hohlfelder
This article describes the evolution of harbors in the ancient world that can be linked to changing social needs and technological developments. Hundreds of harbor sites of varying sizes and designs can be documented around the Mediterranean dating back thousands of years. Relief sculpture and a few shipwrecks provide ample evidence for the intensity of trade by sea in the eastern Mediterranean during the Bronze Age, but the rise in the relative sea level in the eastern Mediterranean since the Bronze Age has obscured or destroyed many of the early harbor sites. Natural anchorages were used throughout the period of Mediterranean history for meeting maritime needs of coastal communities. Hundreds of potential targets await serious archaeological investigation and pose new research questions, which will be answered with further technological developments.
This chapter begins with a brief discussion of proactive and reactive archaeology. It then explains the need for a strategic approach for wetland archaeology; presents archaeological strategies for wetland landscapes in England and in Europe; and considers the balance between preservation and excavation.
C. R. Wickham-Jones
The coast is the area where marine processes such as erosion, deposition, and storm surge influence terrestrial processes and vice versa. This article introduces the concept of coastal archaeology as a growth field for maritime archaeology in terms of the data that can be gathered and also as a realm for the development of archaeological theory. Terrestrial and underwater archaeology, combined and connected by coastal archaeology, allow for a fully developed maritime archaeology. This article illustrates the history and development of coastal archaeology and highlights coastal archaeology as a facet of maritime archaeology. It gives information on the theory and the method of coastal archaeology. The data gathered from coastal archaeology answers a lot of questions about maritime cultures. It bridges the gap between underwater archaeology and terrestrial archaeology, therefore is an important aspect to be studied to understand maritime archaeology.
This chapter addresses the issues faced by wet site excavators, which include issues associated with dewatering; sampling and data management; and the excavation, maintenance, and transportation of finds. It argues that wet-site potentials are phenomenal, and can capture the archaeologist's and the public's imagination faster than almost any other kind of site. This can lead to very real opportunities for site visitation and should be viewed as a positive educational opportunity, but one that needs to be planned for.
Expedience, Impermanence, and Unplanned Obsolescence: The Coming-About of Agricultural Features and Landscapes
William E. Doolittle
Drawing on examples from archaeological, historical, and present-day studies of agricultural systems, this chapter addresses five issues. The first is terminology in general, and how communication can fail as well as succeed. The second is fashionable concepts—the complex ideas that humans create and attempt to present through terminology. The third issue concerns Western and modern thought, and involves a reframing of perspectives on present-day hazards in order to show similarities between archaeology and geomorphology. The fourth issue is the non-Western notion of anicca, or impermanence, and its advantages for future studies of the past. The final issue is how archaeology can contribute to future agricultural development.
Alice V. M. Samson
The house is arguably the most significant material-culture category in anthropology and archaeology. In archaeology, house-centred approaches are popular because through the house and its associated features, the house represents a living entity, produced through past routines and practices. The focus of household archaeology is the realm of the domestic social group, which does not always imply the excavation of houses per se but stretches into other fields of social and community activity. This article suggests that the household archaeology of the pre-Columbian Caribbean is an area ripe for development. Both theoretically and methodologically, the development of household-level research questions and extensive excavation has the potential to make significant advances in understanding of the social and cultural dynamics of the earliest to the latest pre-Columbian communities.