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Seaward Landward: Investigations on the archaeological source value of the landing site category in the Baltic Sea region
Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Baltic & East European Graduate School (BEEGS).
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

There is a tendency in archaeology dealing with watercraft landing sites in a wider context to assume a direct relationship between sites in coastal and shore-bound areas and the practise of landing, without any deeper practical or theoretical exploration of the reality of any such relationship. This problem has its origins in the poor archaeological and conceptual definitions of watercraft landing sites obstructing any real understanding of the role of these sites in the maritime cultural landscape. Landing sites are taken for granted and they are undervalued as an archaeological source of explanation; notwithstanding, the concept of the landing site is readily used in archaeology in order to underpin archaeological interpretations on the maritime activities of past societies.

In order to break away from the simplified understandings of past water-bound strategies based on the undefined concept of the landing site, this dissertation suggests a definition of watercraft landing sites in a wider social sense as water-bound contact zones; places of social interaction that can be archaeologically identified and investigated. This perspective integrates the understanding of the intentional character of human activity related to watercraft landing with the remaining archaeological traces. Archaeological definitions of landing sites that can be tested against the archaeological data are provided, and thereby, the dissertation contributes with the possibility to archaeologically evaluate and approach the social function of watercraft landing sites. This dissertation demonstrates that there can be an archaeology of landing sites.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2012. , 47 p.
Series
Södertörn Doctoral Dissertations, ISSN 1652-7399 ; 66
Series
, Aun, ISSN 0284-1347 ; 44
Keyword [en]
Archaeology, Coastal archaeology, Maritime archaeology, Maritime cultural landscape, Landing sites, Harbours, Critical historiography, Sociology of landing sites, Model of interaction, Methodology, Shore displacement, Phosphate analysis, Baltic Sea region
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Archaeology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-16183ISBN: 978-91-506-2285-0OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-16183DiVA: diva2:526372
Public defence
2012-05-25, Sal IX, Universitetshuset, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-05-11 Created: 2012-05-11 Last updated: 2012-05-11Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Discovering Harbours?: Reflection on the State and Development of Landing Site Studies in the Baltic Sea Region
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Discovering Harbours?: Reflection on the State and Development of Landing Site Studies in the Baltic Sea Region
2009 (English)In: Journal of Maritime Archaeology, ISSN 1557-2285, Vol. 4, no 2, 149-163 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

For the study and understanding of the structure and use of the ancient landscape and the maritime aspects of society, landing sites are one of the most sought after and discussed antiquities in the cultural landscape. Methodologically, in locating the places for landing, looking at their context, such as the prehistoric landscape, has been given a high priority throughout the history of research and landing sites are presumed to have existed in the vicinity of several material and non-material indicators of maritime presence. However, as the category of landing sites and their nature have not been properly defined, such indiscriminate designation based purely on circumstantial evidence poses serious problems. This paper evaluates research into landing sites in the Baltic Sea region, scrutinising terminological and methodological approaches used and suggests a way forward.

National Category
Archaeology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-13874 (URN)10.1007/s11457-009-9050-5 (DOI)000271735100004 ()2-s2.0-70549106039 (ScopusID)
Available from: 2011-12-14 Created: 2011-12-14 Last updated: 2014-02-14Bibliographically approved
2. Do Ships Shape the Shore?: An Analysis of the Credibility of Ship Archaeological Evidence for Landing Site Morphology in the Baltic Sea
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Do Ships Shape the Shore?: An Analysis of the Credibility of Ship Archaeological Evidence for Landing Site Morphology in the Baltic Sea
2012 (English)In: International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, ISSN 1057-2414, E-ISSN 1095-9270, Vol. 41, no 1, 94-105 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the context of the development of different kinds of watercrafts during prehistory an interdependent line of development for landing sites and harbours is often suggested and used to argue that it is almost impossible to archaeologically locate small and early landing sites. Although the constructional properties of prehistoric watercrafts suggest that landing structures were not compellingly necessary, there is nevertheless archaeological evidence of landing facilities already from Stone Age as well as landing facilities for smaller boats to consider. This article will discuss to what extent ship archaeological evidence could be seen in a corresponding development to landing sites in its respective periods.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell, 2012
Keyword
ship archaeology, maritime archaeology, teleology, landing sites, harbours, Baltic Sea region
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Archaeology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-16186 (URN)10.1111/j.1095-9270.2011.00337.x (DOI)000300675400008 ()2-s2.0-84857185419 (ScopusID)
Available from: 2012-03-05 Created: 2012-05-11 Last updated: 2014-02-05Bibliographically approved
3. Is there an Archaeological Potential for a Sociology of Landing Sites?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Is there an Archaeological Potential for a Sociology of Landing Sites?
2011 (English)In: Journal of Archaeology and Ancient History (JAAH), ISSN 2001-1199, no 2, 1-31 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Repeatedly, archaeological research on landing sites draws upon the equivalence between a naturally suitable coast and a landing site/harbour. This kind of research emanates from an archaeologically and socially ill-defined landing site concept and has created a basis for arbitrary discussions on the nature of maritime activities of past societies. There is no comprehensive and integrated understanding of the existing variability, character and patterns of landing site behaviour and relations. This article addresses the question of what characterises landing sites for watercrafts in an archaeological and social perspective. If such characteristics can be defined, what are the possibilities of seeing any of these traits in an archaeological material? Defining a landing site as a contact zone where movements and meetings on land and by watercraft take place and are facilitated by the locality as such, a generally applicable model for the archaeological study of landing sites is suggested and checked against three different archaeological case studies from the Baltic Sea region.

Keyword
Archaeology, Baltic Sea region, Fribrødre Å, Harbour, Krogen Island, Landing site, Model of interaction, Maritime archaeology, Maritime cultural landscape, Sociology of landing sites, Tornimäe
National Category
Archaeology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-16185 (URN)
Available from: 2012-05-11 Created: 2012-05-11 Last updated: 2012-05-11Bibliographically approved
4. Some Critical and Methodological Aspects of Shoreline Determination: Examples from the Baltic Sea Region
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Some Critical and Methodological Aspects of Shoreline Determination: Examples from the Baltic Sea Region
2011 (English)In: Journal of archaeological method and theory, ISSN 1072-5369, E-ISSN 1573-7764, Vol. 18, no 2, 147-165 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Coastal shorelines worldwide are generally unstable and changing. The study of the precise relation between any archaeological site and the shoreline at the time when the site was used is therefore complicated, but still often not met with appropriate methodological approaches. In this article, we test models based on phosphate analysis and discuss how they can be used to detect ancient shorelines. We propose that a model of increased and oscillating phosphate values at the former water level is considered reliable and useful in areas with advancing shoreline.

Keyword
Coastal archaeology, Shore displacement, Baltic Sea region, Phosphate analysis
National Category
Archaeology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-13721 (URN)10.1007/s10816-010-9084-x (DOI)000290036800003 ()2-s2.0-79955605397 (ScopusID)
Available from: 2011-12-06 Created: 2011-12-06 Last updated: 2014-02-10Bibliographically approved
5. Identifying Water-bound Strategies in the Archaeological Record: The Multi-Period Case of Garn, an Inland Lacustrine Site in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Identifying Water-bound Strategies in the Archaeological Record: The Multi-Period Case of Garn, an Inland Lacustrine Site in Sweden
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In archaeological research designs that focus on sites in coastal and shore-bound areas, a short geographical distance is often equated with a high degree of functional correlation between settlement and water without any further investigations of this (pre-)supposed relationship. This is both a theoretical and a methodological problem: instead of testing a hypothesis against the empirical material as the result of actions carried out by prehistoric people, a vaguely characterized empirical pattern is argued to reflect the inherent interrelationship to water. This article presents a process of generating and applying appropriate methodological approaches in the study of water-bound strategies. It explores a site with an initially unknown character and date, but with the remains of a still monumental artificial earthen wall standing close to what was hypothesized to be a former shore zone at Garn, in east central Sweden, and delves into how water-bound strategies might be expressed and investigated in archaeology.

Keyword
maritime archaeology, site visibility, methodology, coastal site, landing site, east central Sweden, Garn
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Archaeology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-16184 (URN)
Available from: 2012-04-10 Created: 2012-05-11 Last updated: 2012-05-11Bibliographically approved

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