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Journal of Island & Coastal Archaeology, 7:156157, 2012 Copyright 2012 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC ISSN:

: 1556-4894 print / 1556-1828 online DOI: 10.1080/15564894.2011.636791

The Archaeology of Maritime Landscapes

Donald L. Hardesty
Department of Anthropology, University of Nevada, Reno, Reno, Nevada, USA

The Archaeology of Maritime Landscapes. Edited by Ben Ford. Springer, New York. 2011. ISBN 978-1-4419-4 (Hardback US $129), 352pp. As a book, The Archaeology of Maritime Landscapes originated in papers given at the Society for Historical Archaeology 2008 Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology. The underlying theme of the papers, now chapters making up an anthology, is the application of the concept of the Maritime Cultural Landscape as proposed and developed by Norwegian archaeologist Christer Westerdahl. Maritime cultural landscapes combine physical aspects of landscape and seascape to analyze the culture of maritime peoples within a spatial context (p. 4). The approach integrates maritime history and ethnography with the archaeological record of past maritime systems to explore how people perceived and understood the sea and used this knowledge and understanding to order and constitute the landscape and societies that they lived in (p. 5). The rst few chapters of the book are mostly concerned with modeling prehistoric site locations associated with the earliest human migration into the Americas. In chapter 1, Searching for Santarosae: Surveying Submerged landscapes for Evidence of Paleocoastal Habitation off Californias Northern Channel Islands, Jack Watts, Brian

Fulfrost, and Jon Erlandson develop a predictive model for the location of submerged paleocoastal sites around Californias Santarosae Island. In chapter 2, Testing the Paleo-Maritime Hypothesis for Glacial Lake Iroquois, Margaret Schulz, Susan WinchellSweeney, and Laurie Rush review the evidence for Paleoindian maritime migrations by boat along Pleistocene shorelines. Jessi Halligan develops a model of potential site location and site preservation including both cultural and natural variables to predict where submerged prehistoric sites may be found in Lake Ontario (p. 59) in chapter 3, Lake Ontario Paleoshorelines and Submerged Prehistoric Site Potential in the Great Lakes. In chapter 4, The Shoreline as a Bridge, Not a Boundary: Cognitive Maritime Landscapes of Lake Ontario, Ben Ford explores regional scale patterns of landscape perception through past uses of the Lake Ontario shore. Wayne R. Lusardi searches for the past human uses of Thunder Bay in Lake Huron and Michigans Lower Peninsula in chapter 5, Rock, Paper, Shipwreck! The Maritime Cultural Landscape of Thunder Bay. In chapter 6, Ship to Shore: Inuit, Early Europeans, and Maritime Landscapes in the Northern Gulf of St. Lawrence, William W. Fitzhugh, Anja Herzog, Sophia Perdikaris, and Brenna McLeod discuss archaeological research at Hare Harbor in the Quebec Lower North Shore which revealed sixteenth

Address correspondence to Donald L. Hardesty, Department of Anthropology, University of Nevada, Reno, 5000 Lakeridge Terrace East, Reno, NV 89509, USA. E-mail:


Book Review

century Basque and later European occupation of the Grand Bay region and provides settlement evidence for at least short-term year-round Inuit expansion into the Gulf (p. 123). Christopher Jazwa interprets the pond region of southern Rhode Island as a Maritime Cultural Landscape in chapter 7, Temporal Changes in a Precontact and Contact Period Cultural Landscape Along the Southern Rhode Island Coast. In chapter 8, A Maritime Landscape of Old Navy Cove and Deadmans Island, Krista Jordan-Greene explores a landscape in the city of Gulf Breeze near Pensacola, Florida. The islands history began as a careening station for ship cleaning and repair in the early 1700s; it then changed to a quarantine station, a marine railway, and a probable ship graveyard. Chapters 9 and 10 are perhaps the most provocative in the book. Here, Amanda M. Evans and Matthew E. Keith apply the concept of the Maritime Cultural Landscape to the Galveston, Texas region to develop site location models of both prehistoric and historic sites. The most interesting issue, as discussed by Westerdahl in Chapter 18, is How do you use the maritime cultural landscape approach for submerged landscapes? Of course, there might be a relict cultural landscape down there, but what really matters is the fact that you have to reconstruct the landscape with each change in the coastline. Then comes the important question: which coastlines and landscape should be reconstructed? (p. 335). In chapter 11, The Hidden World of the Maritime Maya: Lost Landscapes Along the North Coast of Quintana Roo, Mexico, Jeffrey B. Glover, Dominique Rissolo, and Jennifer P. Mathews use the MCL to explore the relationship between the Maya and their coastal landscape in Mexicos Yucatan Peninsula. The article focuses upon the archaeological record of the ancient port settlement of Vista Alegre in northern Quintana Roo. In a most interesting study that focuses on the landscape expression of cultural identity, Heather E. Hatch describes and analyzes the archaeological record of Pirate maritime culture at The Barcadares in Belize in chapter 12. In chapter 13, James P. Delgado,

Frederick H. Hanselmann, and Dominique Rissolo discuss The Richest River in the World: The Maritime Cultural Landscape of the Mouth of the Rio Chagres, Republica de Panama. The various features and sites at the mouth of the Chagres reect its ongoing use as a maritime highway, both in prehistoric and historic times, and particularly its importance and vulnerability during the Spanish Colonial era(p. 243). Claire P. Dappert uses the construction of the Schooner Independence on the shore of Kangaroo Island in South Australia by an American sealing crew of the brig Union as a case study to demonstrate the signicance of place in the land-culture nexus (p. 248) in chapter 14, US Shipbuilding Activities at American River, South Australia: Finding Significance of Place in the Maritime Cultural Landscape. In what is perhaps the most stimulating contribution to the book, Brad Duncan explores the landscapes of a shing community in Queenscliff, a nineteenth century coastal town in Victoria, Australia, and delves into how the notion of maritime cultural landscapes might be expressed and investigated (p. 267) in chapter 15. Christer Westerdahl discusses human cognition at sea and on the shore as perceptions associated with maritime culture in chapter 16, The Binary Relationship of Sea and Land. In chapter 17, Joe Flatman explores the theoretical perspective of human agency in landscape formation through three case studies: Medieval Monasticism and Water, Prehistoric and Defense Landscapes of the Scottish West Coast, and the Wreck of the MSC Napoli. Overall, I found the book to be thought provoking, enjoyable, and a signicant contribution to the discipline of archaeology through its discussion of the methodological and theoretical issues underlying the application of the landscape concept to maritime cultures and societies. The maritime landscape approach provides a framework to integrate terrestrial and underwater archaeology and offers a way to link together prehistoric and historic archaeology. It also is an effective tool for the heritage management of maritime sites. The authors are to be congratulated on a job well done.



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