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Skip to 0 minutes and 5 secondsDR JULIAN WHITEWRIGHT: Maritime archaeology is an incredibly broad subject. But to understand exactly what it encompasses, we've asked some of our students, some of our colleagues and some of our fellow maritime archaeologists to tell us what is maritime archaeology.

Skip to 0 minutes and 21 secondsSPEAKER 1: Ha. That's a tricky question.

Skip to 0 minutes and 27 secondsSPEAKER 2: Ha, ha, ha. The big, big question. Well, personally, I'd like to think of it as just archaeology, except you're focusing on particular aspects of any kind of sea life and so on.

Skip to 0 minutes and 40 secondsSPEAKER 3: Well, maritime archaeology is what people that have a good connection with the sea left behind for us to study.

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 secondsSPEAKER 4: Maritime archaeology focuses largely on shipwrecks. But it's not just underwater archaeology. That's a misconception that a lot of people have. And maritime archaeology encompasses the entirety of maritime cultures.

Skip to 1 minute and 2 secondsSPEAKER 5: Maritime archaeology is the study of coastal landscapes, which would involve larger regional processes of how people interact with the sea and other water bodies.

Skip to 1 minute and 11 secondsSPEAKER 1: Personally, I'm trained in osteoarchaeology. I have a background in animal and human bones. So I'm bringing this into maritime archaeology, which hasn't been done much at all.

Skip to 1 minute and 24 secondsSPEAKER 6: It entails oceanography, diving, terrestrial archaeology, chemistry. I don't know. It's just like a whole different bunch of disciplines kind of come together.

Skip to 1 minute and 36 secondsSPEAKER 7: It's the all-encompassing part of archaeology. And we look at historical archaeology all the way through prehistory underwater.

Skip to 1 minute and 43 secondsSPEAKER 1: It's a very wide field. And it can be anything you want it to be really. Anything you're interested in, you can fit it in there.

Skip to 1 minute and 51 secondsDR JULIAN WHITEWRIGHT: So that just really scratches the surface of what maritime archaeology actually is. But what we want to know is what you think maritime archaeology is. So please let us know using the Comments.

What is Maritime Archaeology?

We asked various students and staff from University of Southampton: What is Maritime Archaeology?

Are you surprised by any of their answers?

Julian also asks you to share your thoughts on Maritime Archaeology in the comments. It may be helpful to comment on other learners’ comments as well, letting them know whether you agree or disagree with them.

This video is from the free online course:

Shipwrecks and Submerged Worlds: Maritime Archaeology

University of Southampton

Course highlights Get a taste of this course before you join:

  • Welcome to Week 1
    Welcome to Week 1
    video

    Welcome to Week 1 of Shipwrecks and Submerged Worlds: Maritime Archaeology with Dr Julian Whitewright, University of Southampton.

  • Screenshot of the timeline
    The development of a discipline
    article

    An interactive timeline that charts the development of maritime archaeology as a discipline. Contributions from worldwide learners are welcome.

  • Experimental maritime archaeology
    Experimental maritime archaeology
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    Why build a replica? Watch Professor Jon Adams explore experimental maritime archaeology on location at Buckler's Hard.

  • Medieval seafaring
    Medieval seafaring
    video

    In this video, Professor Jon Adams explains the techniques by which shipwrights have converted trees into boats suitable for sailing the world.

  • An operating table with bottles and other items on it, underwater.
    Treasure hunting, looting, and the illicit trade in antiquities
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    Peter Campbell discusses the complex issues surrounding treasure hunting, looting, and the illicit trade in antiquities, in this article.