List A (Assessed by Written Examination)
Approaches to maritime archaeology often concentrate on ships and their material remains and while this is an entirely legitimate approach, it can largely ignore the people and the communities that created, sustained and sailed on them.
This paper will provide an overview of key theoretical and conceptual issues relevant to maritime archaeology, and will explore a broad range of social, cultural, technological and environmental issues relating to the creation of maritime societies both on land and at sea. It will examine the development of maritime cultural landscapes and port towns, shipboard societies, and maritime subcultures, alongside themes such as maritime economies, warfare, technological change, and religion, ritual, and superstition.
The paper will stress archaeological perspectives on maritime societies, but will also draw upon anthropological, palaeoenvironmental, documentary, and other sources of information to offer a holistic approach. In covering this range of themes, the paper will address maritime societies and seafaring through time, from the earliest records of coastal subsistence and movement across the sea through to maritime activities documented in textual sources.
List B (Assessed by two 5000-Word Essays)
Maritime archaeology can be a very technical discipline and consequently the purpose of the course is to provide an up-to-date overview of the current methods and techniques in maritime archaeology and its allied sub-disciplines of maritime history and anthropology.
The module can include sessions on ethics, survey and excavation techniques, wetland archaeology, approaches to deepwater, interpreting nautical architecture, maritime object biographies, maritime ethnography, presenting maritime archaeology to different audiences.
There are no temporal or geographical limits upon the examples of best and worst practise that will be used in this course.
The course examines the development of seafaring through material cultural and maritime history. It will generally concentrate on the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean and connected regions, although other places and time periods can be investigated if there is sufficient interest.
The main trends in the historical development of seafaring cultures will be examined, including the technological development of both military and merchant ships and their cargoes, the growth of ports and nautical architecture, as well as more synthetic approaches to issues such as the maritime economy, naval warfare, the spread of knowledge, and the growth of polities.
The nature of the archaeological, textual and iconographic evidence will be discussed in order to understand the limitations and opportunities inherent in each form of evidence.