- Hardcover: 494 pages
- Publisher: Yale University Press; First American Edition edition (January 21, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0300074271
- ISBN-13: 978-0300074277
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 1.2 x 11.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,846,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Encyclopedia of Underwater and Maritime Archaeology Hardcover – January 21, 1998
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This lavishly illustrated, scholarly, and comprehensive encyclopedia of nautical archaeology was first published in 1997 by British Museum Press as British Museum Encyclopedia of Underwater and Maritime Archaeology. Its editor, executive director of the Vancouver Maritime Museum and a prolific author of books and journal articles on maritime history and underwater archaeology, was assisted by more than 150 archaeologists, as well as other experts and practitioners from more than 25 countries around the world.
The volume's 450 alphabetically arranged entries cover sites from prehistory to the modern era (including Titanic), legislation and legal issues, organizations, nations and regions, research themes, and technology and techniques. Length generally ranges from two paragraphs for reef netting and Southampton Centre for Maritime Archaeology to about four pages for Great Lakes and remote sensing. The longest article, United States of America, is more than eight pages. Numerous cross-references are interspersed with these topical entries and within these entries. A subject listing of entries, preceding the entries themselves, is divided into two large divisions--" Sites" and "General" --each with several subdivisions. "Sites," for example, includes such breakdowns as prehistoric archaeological sites, ship burials/buried ships/vessel sites on land, and shipwreck sites arranged by date and location. More than 100 illustrations in color are complemented by more than 200 black-and-white drawings and photos. Most entries append a bibliography, usually of recent books, journal articles (especially from the leading journal of the discipline, International Journal of Nautical Archaeology), and professional conference papers. Although there is no general bibliography, some of the individual bibliographies are fairly extensive. That for Great Lakes, for example, has almost 30 items. A glossary of nautical terms and a detailed index (names of vessels, persons, and organizations) considerably enhance the reference value. With its worldwide coverage, illustrations, and bibliographies, Encyclopedia of Underwater and Maritime Archaeology will well serve the needs of an audience of nautical and other archaeologists and of patrons of large public and academic libraries with an interest in ships and the sea.
Top customer reviews
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The book is a collection of excellent up-to-date articles, sorted in alphabetical order, including cross references. There are plenty of fine illustrations, and the articles as such contain a wealth of information. It is a welcome update on the earlier works by Bass, Throckmorton and Muckelroy. I particularly enjoyed reading the articles of ancient shipwrecks, e.g. the Italian Giglio wreck.
But for an encyclopedia, the material is not integrated well enough. Examples:
Under Sutton Hoo, there is a good article, but no illustration. However, there is a photo of the famous site in the article about ship burials, but no reference to the photo from the Sutton Hoo article. The articles on airlift and water dredge contradict each other. Obviously they were written by different authors, but the articles could have been better integrated. U/W video has a good article, but U/W photo is not represented as a topic.
Also, I missed some things that could have been included:
I tried to find the status of underwater archaeology in Canada. But Canada was missing both from the topics in the book and from the index. I failed to find texts on either logboats, anchor types, or ship building and the clinker boat type. I also failed to find anything about types of amphoras, cannon, bottles or clay pipe. However, these topics are covered in the land archaeology literature.
Personally, I would also have liked articles about Keith Muckelroy and Jacques Cousteau.
These shortcomings are minor details, which can be resolved in a later edition. This beautiful book is excellent. It may be one of the best publications ever made in the area, and the best literature available for under 30 pounds sterling. I can recommend it to anybody working with or interested in the area. Despite its possible shortcomings as an encyclopedia, it is well worth buying only for the articles themselves.