Exploring Maritime Spaces with Digital Archaeology: Modelling navigation, seascapes, and coastal spaces

Emma Slayton, Crystal Safadi

Abstract


The use of GIS and modelling techniques for the study of maritime landscapes and seafaring is a growing theme in both maritime archaeology and in computational approaches to analyzing archaeological spaces. With the recent availability of large datasets, increasingly more detailed and accurate weather records, and advances in GIS applications and simulations, our understanding of seascapes, coastal landscapes, and navigation is expanding. Evaluating both the use of the water’s surface and the interaction between seascapes and adjoining land based sites is essential for understanding the use and meaning of maritime spaces in the past. Digital archaeology is crucial to the investigation of these spaces, as the archaeological record supports the existence of sea travel without any clear evidence of the specifics of this movement and computer based analysis can be used to fill in these gaps. This session may also focus on the use of water-based navigation extending to the analysis of navigation of lakes or rivers. Similarly, coastal landscapes and harbour sites may be included as they provide essential archaeological information on the connection of seascapes and landscapes, through visibility studies, database records, or analysis of coastal mobility.

This session welcomes papers on a variety of topics that make use of GIS and modelling methods to investigate these maritime spaces, e.g. seafaring and voyaging, harbour studies, coastal landscapes, seascapes and islandscapes, surveying techniques, maritime cultural landscapes, databases, web-applications, etc. Through this session we aim to share and explore different approaches to analyzing maritime spaces that would highlight their significance.