Thijs J. Maarleveld
Maritime Archaeology Identifying Identity
Maritime Archaeology Identifying Identity
Maritime Archaeology Identifying Identity Inaugural address delivered on the accession to the chair of Maritime Archaeology at the University of Southern Denmark in Esbjerg on Wednesday 18 April 2007 by Thijs J. Maarleveld
Vice-chancellor, ladies and gentlemen, esteemed members of the University of Southern Denmark community, colleagues at the Esbjerg Campus, colleagues at the Centre for Maritime and Regional Studies, colleagues at the ‘Blue’, most maritime, campus of Denmark, appreciated guests, family and friends,
Published by the Maritime Archaeology Programme University of Southern Denmark Esbjerg, 2007 Design: H. Kildebæk Raun Cover photo: © Patrick Baker ISBN 978-87-992214-0-0 © SDU
It is a great honour for me to address you at the occasion of the start of the Maritime Archaeology Programme at this university, Syddansk Universitet and my appointment in the post of the programme’s first professor. Planning of this new programme, of course, began quite some time before substantiating and my appointment actually brought me to Esbjerg more than a year ago. For various reasons, however, we decided to wait with a formal kick-off until more than a plan, an office, and a professor were in place. With Bo Ejstrud as lector, with the cooperation of the Danish museums with a maritime archaeological responsibility secured, with a newsletter started, with a group of international master students consisting of Tomas Hunnicke, Christine Husum, Aristea Korre, and Ntina Vafiadou – all present here – presently engaged in a joint study of the Kongeå river plain and marsh area some 15 kilometres South of Esbjerg as a maritime zone in the Migration Period and early Middle Ages, with associate researcher Bjørn Lovén running the Zea Harbour Project that addresses the harbour layout, infrastructure and installations in ancient Piraeus, from the Danish school at distant Athens and with Jens Auer having joined us just this week as a teacher and as a key director of underwater research in Northern waters, and last but not 7
least with Aoife Daly shortly defending her PhD thesis on timber, trade and tree-rings, which addresses a key resource in historic shipbuilding, ….. we thought it was about time for this formal event. Although several other meetings coincide, notably the annual meeting of Kulturarvstyrelsen in Copenhagen (that many museum people have to attend who would have liked to be here) and Philip Verhagen’s doctoral defence in Leiden, 18 April is an appropriate date. Not only for reasons quite well known in this region, connected with the identity of Southern Denmark, but also because a few years ago it was proclaimed as the international day of underwater cultural heritage by UNESCO. But why maritime archaeology? What is maritime archaeology? In what way will the Esbjerg programme try to further the field? What ambitions do we have? Is maritime archaeology a field with a consistent identity? What identity do we want to establish for ourselves, for the programme and for Esbjerg’s contribution? Today, these are the questions we want to look into …. in your presence. First – in a rather formal way, fitting the occasion and fitting the tradition of rite the passage on the accession to a chair in a European University – I will discuss these and related issues in a formal accession address, written text, no pictures. After that – and with a tea-break after the first – three dear colleagues, with whom I have collaborated in the past, with whom I intend to collaborate in the future, will present examples of three aspects of maritime archaeology that in one way or another are defining the range and potential of maritime archaeology in a way that – for me – makes them the obvious focus for the coming years. It is those three fields to which I would like to direct our future research, even though, evidently, the discipline of maritime archaeology can be approached from quite other angles. Is then maritime archaeology much wider? Is it a separate discipline at all? In many ways, of course, it isn’t. Separate either from history, anthropology and cultural archaeology in the wider sense or separate from geology, oceanography, geophysics and environmental archaeology in the wider sense it cannot exist. In other words, it firmly stands within the interdisciplinary tradition of archaeology as 8
such, with a specific maritime focus. Just as the Centre where we are based, CMRS, and the Esbjerg campus have a maritime focus. Moreover, maritime archaeology cannot do without the very general, often ill-defined but sometimes very focused and partial interest in ‘small things forgotten’ – many of them selectively not so forgotten at all, and many of them not so small either – that we have come to denote with the term ‘heritage’. I will come back to that, as the concept of ‘heritage’ seems to be crucial to the identification of any identity, but it is certainly of major importance for the development and importance of maritime archaeology, as I see it. Separate or not, a lot of effort has been spent to define both the object of study of the ‘nascent discipline’, as maritime archaeology was called in a 1972 UNESCO publication, and its limits, notably in the 1970’s and 1980’s. These efforts have either been inclusive, claiming ground that is likewise claimed by other disciplines, or exclusive, setting the discipline completely apart from adjoining fields of study. Such efforts, whether relatively well-considered such as in Keith Muckelroy’s 1978 approach, or not, were very …. academic. Now, .… I see, it is hardly a time and place to dismiss ‘academic discussions’ when one accedes to a professorship, but some such discussions are definitely more inspiring than others. What I mean to say is not at all that it is irrelevant to define the discipline, its limits and object of study. Indeed, how could I? Such definitions and delimitations are practical and very relevant indeed when one is setting up a curriculum. What I do mean, however, is that these efforts to define – although compulsory reading for our students – have serious limitations. They have mainly been guided (or claimed to be guided) by research interests. Here again, you must start wondering for what reason, other than research interest and the desire to help others to develop research interests I might be standing here, at a University, but that again is not what I mean. I will not dismiss research interests in the relationship between man and sea, After Deetz 1977. UNESCO 1972; Muckelroy 1978, Martin 1981, McGrail 1984.
research interests in coastal and maritime societies, research interests in coastal and maritime environments or research in maritime technology such as they figure in the defining schemes, certainly not. They are the mainstay of our maritime archaeological ship. What I want to stress, however, is that the ‘academic discussion’ of the time – three decades ago – pretended that it was researchers, academics, that defined and should define what was interesting and what should be of interest to the discipline, that it was researchers that defined its identity. However much researchers would like to keep pretending this, it is a position that can no longer be upheld in any of the ‘heritage’-related disciplines, let alone in maritime archaeology. On the contrary, although academic researchers have influenced the discipline’s direction since its inception, they have by no means been the only ones. Other forces, such as national politics, nationalistic sentiments, international relations, military security zones, recreation, collection, competition between dive-industry or recreational diving ego’s, pure contingencies, trade in antiquities, and the all-powerful public eye in a society with more information resources at its disposal than ever before, have all defined the development of the discipline far more intensively than any academic could ever dream of. Ray Sutcliffe, one time producer of a world spanning BBC series on maritime heritage issues and research, has probably had more influence on the identity of the discipline than anyone else amongst us today. For most of you, I would guess, maritime archaeology, adventure, diving, finding exciting things, hardship and Discovery Channel and nibbling crisps on the sofa are more or less synonymous …. with a definite association with danger, sharks and animal aggression. Is that the identity of maritime archaeology we want to introduce and strengthen here in Esbjerg? Perhaps not. In fact, it will be our role to perhaps emphasize a slightly different angle, but we definitely do not want to deny such an identity either. We do want to understand the mechanisms behind such images, and we will devote research to understanding how maritime heritage is valued, to which uses it is put, what benefits – shared or unshared – it produces. 10
But let us, for the moment, go back to the academic discussions in which a few – academic – specialists tried to define ‘Maritime Archaeology’ in an effort to get academic recognition for the discipline. The late Nineteen sixties and the seventies were a time when archaeology and history, geology and oceanography were well-established disciplines, and also a time when the way in which government catered for remains from the past was admittedly different in different parts of the world, but was consolidating its position rather than being involved in a constant turmoil of negotiating its position against other interests. Archaeologists negotiated with their bosses, not with anybody else. At the same time, maritime archaeology emerged and adopted a disciplinary identity, but one can hardly say that that was maritime archaeologists’ doing; one can hardly say the discipline emerged just because the established academic disciplines were in want of additional data, were curious to widen their scope to include archaeological information from the underwater environment or on the maritime aspects of past society. In this latter respect, perhaps Denmark, identifying with the maritime feats of the Vikings for which archaeology is such an important information source, is a major exception, but it is telling that it was a naval architect rather than a traditional archaeologist that led the way to the potential in this country. O.k. ‘traditional archaeology’ let itself be convinced of the added value, but it begs the question whether it would have done so without the persistent persuasion of Ole Crumlin Pedersen. He made Denmark world leading in a specific section of maritime archaeology. There were other exceptions as well, of course. The odd oceanographer, seeing the prospect of dating sea-level change through the study of submerged land, that once was inhabited and the submerged interface between land and sea at submerged harbour locations, and who – as a consequence – became fascinated both Olsen et al. 1995. See for instance the series Ships and Boats of the North, the Maritime Archaeology Newsletter from Roskilde, 1-20, 1993-2003, and the maritime archaeology publications in the series Studies in archaeology & history in the Publications from the National Museum.
by the submerged classical harbours in the Mediterranean and by prehistoric, Pleistocene use of the continental shelves that have submerged as a consequence of global warming since the Ice Age; the odd prehistorian, mad enough to don diving equipment, realizing the potential of waterlogged sites and seeing that in some instances underwater work would be profitable; just extending data capture to the underwater environment, in some instances creating innovative, rigidly productive new maritime archaeological technology and methodology and in some instances transposing outmoded sampling techniques to a new environment where their application would be even more unpractical; the odd anthropologist of course, starting to include material remains of maritime exploitation in the past as preserved both above and below water into the analysis of maritime culture. The odd historian .… more often than not looking for the remains of a specific event …. or – more commonly – put on its track by underwater explorers seeking credit for their exploits. Nevertheless, it was not just, …. it was hardly because the established academic disciplines wanted to widen their scope that maritime archaeology emerged. After all, it was not those academic disciplines that defined the economic boom in post-war Europe, that defined the marketing of SCUBA equipment, the development of diving as a pastime and the random and targeted exploration that ensued. In many ways this development continues, spreading over ever larger portions of the globe, including areas previously inaccessible due to political or military circumstances, including ever deeper domains of the world’s seas and oceans. In many ways – it is perhaps slightly disconcerting to realize that – in many ways, maritime archaeology has developed as a very contingent reaction to random or targeted activities by nonprofessionals and otherly-professional operators, either acting from
focused curiosity, from focused self-interest or accidentally stumbling on underwater remains, seeing it as something to be catered for or something to be exploited, …. by themselves, by government, by industry or by academia. In fact this latter option, to call in academic researchers, seems to be very logical. However – and again it is slightly disconcerting – the occasions on which this happened, the occasions on which explorers have realized that perhaps before going any further it would be wise to engage academic assistance, have been preciously few. Fewer still have been the instances in which the assistance that was sought, was not in background knowledge, geophysics, historical data or the connoisseurship of ceramic specialists and was not in seeking justification and legitimacy for their operations by academic backing of any kind, but was honestly aimed at assistance in assessing an archaeological site before touching it or at assistance in wrangling information and knowledge out of complex archaeological deposits. It is quite clear that such instances – however few – have been crucial for the identity of the discipline. Several present and past practitioners have learned to dive specifically for this academic purpose. In an exceptional instance, an academic institute has subsequently been established for the purpose of such academic research.10 Crucial as this may have been, crucial as this continues to be, crucial as this will be for the discipline’s future development, it is certainly not the single or even the main driving force that has qualified it so far, whatever academia would like to pretend. In fact, the academic influence has been surprisingly limited, both on its own account and as a subsidiary to the initiatives of other parties. Are we back to adventure then? To hardship, diving and finding exciting things? In many ways we are. That is to say, there is no way to deny that that is the most powerful image of maritime archaeology that exists in people’s minds. It is that image that to a large extent
Flemming 1972; Masters & Flemming 1983; Flemming 2004. Ruoff 1981; Bocquet 1979; Schlichtherle & Wahlster 1986; Dixon 1991; Bosch et al. 2000; Skaarup 1983; Andersen 1985; Fischer 1995. Gould 1983; but also Prins 1965, Hasslöf 1972 and many others. Lyon 1979; Earle 1979; Kist 1990.
Peter Throckmorton’s call after having dived the Cape Gelidonya shipwreck that led to the 1959 campaign is the classic example, but fortunately each and region of the world has such examples. 10 Bass 2005.
defines maritime archaeology’s identity. It is that image that guides many of the activities with which government or governments have been confronted in the decades past and continue to be confronted with. This has not been unproblematic. Why? Basically, because in that image we conceive of archaeology as a specific and more or less private adventure, mr X finding Y and being a hero, whereas on the other hand we expect government to take responsibility for adequate protection of vulnerable and valuable archaeological remains. We expect it to do so, on land, where archaeology has long been regulated as a public responsibility and a public activity; we expect it to do so in the maritime zones, where we are only gradually assessing what to expect. Inherent tensions emerge, between operators interpreting and monopolizing the resource and governments that hardly live up to their promises of defending the public interest, between the developers of offshore installations, windparks, pipelines, etc., that are obliged to assess and mitigate impact on heritage and competent authorities, not competent enough to provide basic guidance. In other words: yes, we may be stuck with the image of adventure and excitement as a defining factor of maritime archaeology’s identity but, at the same time, society has very specific demands on the discipline’s development. The discipline is to provide or to contribute to historical narratives as any other historical discipline; it is to follow the academic curiosities that have so far determined academia’s contribution to its development but, at the same time, it is to provide a better understanding of what archaeological deposits are to be expected where in the maritime environment; what heritage is preserved, what heritage may turn up. It is to provide basic information for decisions that pretend to include consideration of cultural values and it is to provide basic tools for future management. The discipline is expected to provide such applied research, not just for its own perpetuation, but mostly because society identifies with heritage and has instructed government to make sure that the archaeological record will be protected and used as a public resource, through research and dissemination, producing shared benefits, producing shared knowledge, producing shared history, 14
rather than status and benefits for the few, status and benefits for mr X finding Y. An additional complication is that heritage is a sensitive issue. Identities are built on it, and any inter-group conflict refers to heritage issues.11 Multicultural societies have to cope with multiple identities and multiple claims to heritage. Local government may deny any far reaching consequences and claim local heritage as of local importance, basically a building block for local identity, whether justifiably or not. With maritime remains, especially at sea, this will not work. Government will still have its responsibilities but will have them in an international rather than a local arena. It will find that most shipwreck sites, for instance, have links to different areas of the world and to different, widely spread groups that may differently identify with it as significant heritage. The recent – world-wide – outcry over the looting of the 18th century Dutch eastindiaman ‘Rooswijk’ in British waters gives some evidence of this, although it was mostly a classical example of appropriated rather than shared benefits.12 A clearer case in point is the British outcry over a lack of respect for the wrecks that issued from the Battle of Jutland in 1916.13 All of them lie in the Danish Economic Zone and both the U.K. and Germany consider them important heritage and war graves. Mutual respect for mutual values, or supposed lack of it, it is something which constantly qualifies intercultural relations and which constantly qualifies intercultural and international archaeology. Maritime archaeology is fraught with international issues, even more so than any other branch of archaeology. So, there we are: adventure and excitement, sensitive controversies, easily leading to diplomatic tension and strict demands by society – strict, but conflicting demands in effect by different stakeholders in society – and no lack of interlopers, wise guys or profiteers adding to the sensitivities or exploiting them, doing their own thing for their 11 Lowenthal 1996; Gathercole & Lowenthal 1990, Meskell 1998. 12 Duivenvoorde 2006. 13 Williams 2006.
own reasons while loudly criticizing others, most of them quoting Indiana Jones’s famous dictum ‘but this is our heritage, this belongs in a museum’ as a justification for any action they may want to take. Is that what defines the identity of maritime archaeology? What of academia? Is there any use for it? Can it have any influence? Well, you may rest assured, that I wouldn’t be standing here, if I wouldn’t think so. Academia may have had little influence on the identity of maritime archaeology, it is nevertheless quite clear that the discipline has a need for academic input. There are several reasons for this. Some are absolutely intrinsic, others more practical and applied. Even the most intrinsic ones, however, directly relate to practical needs. The underwater environment offers a rich and little explored body of source material whose assessment and analysis has already started to inherently influence scientific narratives on human history. It derives its particular importance from the fact that it is differently composed and differently filtered from those bodies of source-material that traditionally have been the meat of historians and archaeologists. The epistemological background is different. As a consequence it produces different information that adds to and can be used to debunk or falsify ill-based but lightly accepted narratives and myths, perhaps the most important function of History in modern society. A few, well researched Bronze Age finds can serve as example: the wide trade network of the mid-second millennium before our era that is reflected in the Ulu Burun shipwreck on the southwest Anatolian coast, shedding light both on industrial production and material procurement and on the intricate cultural relationships in the Levant is one14; the elaborate technology and the social organisation needed to produce it, that is revealed by the ‘Dover’ Bronze Age boat is another.15 Information on the introduction, manipulation and genetic improvement of all sorts of agricultural products and foodstuffs is most probably something that does
not immediately occur to you as an area in which maritime archaeological sources contribute, but samples from wreck-sites of all sorts of periods have become of major importance for palaeobotanical and palaeo-agricultural studies for the simple reason that samples from settlement- or disposal sites are mostly composed of spoiled material whereas shipments are fundamentally selected, provide for quantitative analysis and very often are very well preserved. Olives, grapes, the wide variety of grains, sweet chestnuts, introduced horticultural products such as kidney and pigeon beans, oriental spices .... they are just some of the examples, where the maritime archaeological source material contributes to our understanding of domestication and manipulation of our everyday agricultural needs.16 It is a specific academic assignment for our discipline to try and understand the production of knowledge out of this new body of source-material, even though .... other agents than academia certainly contribute to this understanding as well and even though .… it is to a large extent other agents that have practical use for it. They need this background in their everyday engagement with hands-on decisions and dilemma’s regarding the discovery, reporting, assessment, protection or destruction of evidence that surfaces as a result of random or targeted exploration, as a result of building activities and of projects that have committed themselves to mitigate negative impacts on cultural resources, as a result of fisheries or of any other activity. More often than not, irreversible action needs to be decided on even before it is clear whether the evidence may or may not indicate finds with great information value, may or may not have significant – or potentially explosive – heritage significance. Obviously, I am here referring to government agencies that society has charged with consideration of cultural values, but obviously also, I am referring to other agents, developers and conservationists alike, that play their different roles in present-day civil society and want to do so in a critical and informed way rather than slavishly or reluctantly keeping in step with any government guidance. For all of these a
14 Yalçin, Pulak & Slotta 2005. 15 Clark 2004a; Clark 2004b.
16 Magendans 1986; Manders 1993; Sassen & Stassen 1995; Kuijper & Manders 2003.
better understanding of what we are talking about in archaeology, what we are talking about in heritage protection is essential. Another intrinsic reason for academic input immediately relates to that, although this may not be immediately apparent. It is the fact that the maritime – and therefore international – aspects of society and a maritime perspective on social relationships, distance, cultural exchange or isolation have much to offer to archaeology and history at large, as it produces narratives with a slightly different angle of vision. In fact, I am not being completely fair if I say that such a perspective has been completely underrepresented in archaeological interpretations. Stone Age archaeology, notably the archaeology of the Mesolithic or Jægerstenalderen traditionally has a strong international orientation and an emphasis on the ‘Economic Base’ in marine resources and subsequently an open mind for maritime interpretations and maritime technology.17 Later Prehistory, however, rooted as it is in settlement studies and national discourses, rather than in international ones, is often oblivious to the maritime perspective, even when dealing with settlement in coastal zones. There are exceptions of course, and some change is apparent, introducing maritime dimensions and linking ranges of developments ‘Facing the Ocean’18 but, on the other hand, it is not international but national discourses on heritage, on cultural canons, national mechanisms for research funding and national solutions for the management of preventive archaeology that inform national and regional decision-makers. Consciously or not, this seems to further the interpretation of archaeological data as a notably (hervorragend?) national or regional endeavour.19 As a logical result, boats and maritime material culture are literally marginal, as the focus is on homogenizing regional narratives and regional sequences that contribute to national or regional identities. This is a strange process, in which differences between areas are 17 Clark 1952, Andersen 1985, Louwe Kooijmans 1987.
overvalued and differences within areas are undervalued. Differences between Jutland and Schleswig, between Holland and Flanders are unconsciously overvalued, differences within these various areas are unconsciously undervalued. Boats hardly fit. Their complexity is too great, their number too few. With little basis, they are cited as regional status goods or as indicators of ethnicity, an even stranger process, in which source criticism seems to be completely absent, despite the meticulous and excellent but also slightly isolated research tradition on this material in northern Europe, notably in Denmark. In other words, more often than not we are dealing with ‘Ancient Boats and Modern Myths’, and it is the myths rather than the boats that inform the assessment of new finds.20 That is why reinforcement, unravelling or falsification of such myths will immediately impact future heritage decisions. It is an assignment for academia to rock this boat. For more recent, historical, periods the narratives are more open to the maritime nature of exchange, of trade, of wealth accumulation. This may result in more significance being attributed to its archaeological fall-out, especially at the high end of high culture, Henry the Eighth’s Mary Rose, Gustav Adolf ’s Vasa, Michiel de Ruyter’s Zeven Provinciën, Christian the Fourth’ Tre Kroner or the great ships of the grand colonial companies. But yet again, it is an academic assignment to model and explain, where and how the archaeological source-material is just a reminder and an illustration and where it can significantly contribute to our understanding of processes of acculturation and processes of transfer of technology. These are areas where archaeological analysis is potentially strong, not only in those cases where no documentation exists, prehistory, but equally in historical periods. Understanding the results of acculturation and integration has become ever more important in a context of globalization and multicultural rather than homogene societies. Understanding transfer of technology, innovation, gradual adaptation and cultural entropy, resistance to change is relevant for present industry as much as it is relevant as an
18 Cunliffe 2001. 19 After Kosinna 1911; Arnold 1990.
20 After Binford 1981.
explanatory narrative for a fundamentally industrial society. Those buzzwords, understanding maritime innovation, bring me back to Esbjerg, to Esbjerg ambitions and to everyday reality. I have tried to explain, how much the discipline of maritime archaeology is in need of academic anchoring. I have tried to explain, how much maritime heritage management is in need of fundamental research. I have not yet said, but it is equally evident, how much the discipline, responsible authorities and recognized stakeholders are in need of a new generation of well-equipped, well-trained, academically educated practitioners. What are we, the maritime archaeology program at SDU, going to do about that? What role do we see for ourselves? First of all, we are to train young professionals at the postgraduate level. We started that in September. We will give them, try to give them, a sound theoretical background, not so much in order to prepare them for endless academic discussions but as a basis for hands-on research, for hands-on problem solving and hands-on roles in the field, both literally in the field and in the management field, roles that follow from the present state of the discipline and hopefully roles that will follow from the innovation we and they will most probably bring to it. Hands-on practical training and hands-on tutorials therefore complement the more theoretical parts.21 Researchwise, we have clear-cut ambitions as well. Today, I have approached the subject quite broadly, but of course research is only useful, if it is focused. For our program, three strands of research stand out. Where possible, we will combine and intertwine them. They complement, I hope, the research interests of other institutions in such a way that we can cooperate with them and develop our own identity as a program. The first strand I mentioned today, is to try and understand how maritime heritage is valued, what function it has for different groups, for science, for local divers, for national and international stakeholders and others, who in one way or another identify with
it; to which uses it is put, in recreation, by the dive-touring industry, by one (or more) issue pressure groups and interest groups; what benefits – shared or unshared – it produces and finally how this all and the related perceptions change over time or get codified in laws and regulations that see or try to see to protection and/or sustainable management.22 It is a strand of research in which the research school for cultural heritage, Esbjerg based TIC and various networks and programs addressing Law and Heritage are obvious partners. Today, Carsten Lund’s presentation will illustrate some of the issues. The second strand will look into the fundamental characteristics and potential of maritime archaeological sites, in particular under water, as producers of scientific information. What filters do apply, what processes at the time of origin qualify what gets buried; what processes during the time that elapsed since then, have produced a second filtering preserving this rather than that; what filters and biases make that one type of deposit gets discovered and recognized whereas other types of information completely elude us. Where selective perceptions of significance are involved this evidently links in with the first strand. Unravelling the way in which older finds are either neglected or mystified and mythologized falls in with it as much as the analysis of the physical environment. Such fundamental research in epistemological rules of correspondence between what was and what we get to know about it has great consequences and practical application for management. It helps to define what archaeological deposits are to be expected where in the maritime environment and it helps to anticipate in spatial planning. ‘Formation processes’ and ‘predictive modelling’ are technical terms related to this strand. It can build on a solid research tradition, but processes are different in the maritime environment and need to be explored. Based at Esbjerg, we will particularly use the surroundings, the information available for the Wadden Sea, the coastal zone and the offshore area as our laboratory. This ties in well with my previous research in the Netherlands, notably in the western Wadden Sea and
22 Maarleveld 2006a, Maarleveld 2006b; Maarleveld 2007.
around the westernmost ‘Frisian islands’.23 Today, Hauke Jöns of the Niedersächsisches Institut für historische Küstenforschung will present us with on-going approaches in the area that lies just in between. His institute and the various agencies responsible for heritage decisions in different parts of the Wadden Sea area are obvious partners for future approaches. The third strand, finally, fits in most evidently with one of the strong traditions of maritime archaeology for which Denmark is famous and which I mentioned before: the scrupulous analysis of ship construction on the basis of archaeological finds. It is a diachronic and transspatial theme, as relevant for prehistory, for medieval times as for the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as relevant for the Baltic and Atlantic as for the Indian Ocean or the South China Sea. Within this range, we will, of course, concentrate on specific ship finds, intertwining the specific with the two other strands of research. Analysis will focus on understanding cultural choices in the adoption of available technology, highlighting tension between innovation and cultural entropy and highlighting issues relating to transfer of technology. At the same time it will try to interpret the implications of the technological choices as we reveal them in social terms. This may sound ambitious, but in the end it is such overarching issues that make the meticulous study of the sourcematerial worthwhile in broader terms. It is there that the sourcematerial that is becoming available through the development of maritime archaeology – defined by adventure, diving and hardship, or not – can meet some of its epistemological promises. It fits in with my previous research on early modern adaptations, it fits in with Jens Auer’s work on the Prince’s Channel wreck, and it fits in with much of the work that has been done by the Ship Laboratory and the erstwhile Centre for Maritime Archaeology in Roskilde.24 Today, Flemming Rieck will illustrate some of this with exciting new details on ships of the Iron Age. 23 Maarleveld 1998; Deeben et al. 2002. 24 Maarleveld 2002; Lemée 2006; Auer & Firth forthcoming.
With our new program, with the three strands of research, we hope to significantly contribute to maritime archaeology in a worldwide perspective. Also, we hope to continue and enhance the strong tradition of maritime archaeology in Denmark, not by concentration of all activities in one spot as before, but by providing it with an academic anchoring and by establishing close cooperation with and networks between as many contributors as possible. Assistance to, and close cooperation with researchers working on Stone Age archaeology is something I did not yet mention. It is well anchored at two other universities and well anchored at many museums; we can help in assessing parts of the underwater environment and the information sources it contains and in so doing we are likely to provide building blocks for their research, even though we will not, ourselves focus on it, other than at the level of the first strand, assessing the potential of the resource. Ladies and gentlemen, concluding this inaugural address it is appropriate to thank SDU and the sponsors of CMRS and the maritime archaeology programme for the trust they put in me. Moreover, I would like to thank all those who have contributed to my ‘professional identity’. It is appropriate first of all to mention my formal teachers, the late professor Modderman and prof. Louwe Kooijmans and all those who introduced me to archaeology, history, geology. [Dear professor, beste Leendert, daar sta ik dan, misschien heb ik van jou nog wel het meest geleerd om richting te houden en m’n eigen gang te gaan, vaak wetend dat anderen daar niets in zien of op ramkoers liggen; Both your intense guidance when I joined your Hazendonk project and soon (very young still) started my professional career as your ‘gewetensbezwaarde’ assistant, and your sharp comments on the manuscripts that evolved into my dissertation have been and are much appreciated]. Less formal, but not less intense was my exposure and training in the various aspects of nautical business, sailing and shipbuilding. For the practical skills I developed, I am most indebted to my father. [Jaap and Manon, shipbuilding and sailing are asides in your creative and independent lives in which you have no use for government and 23
civil servants and neither for science and scientists. As becomes a revolting son I became both civil servant and scientist. The critical attitude, you have installed in me, proved useful in both]. Equally important has been the influence – often dialectic – of all sorts of interested parties, divers and stakeholders, informants and amateur-archaeologists. For some reason many of these latter are called Hans, whether it be Hans Dal, Hans Valster or Hans Eelman. [Hans Eelman’s expression ‘wat daar ligt dat hoort daar niet’ (it may lie there, under water, it doesn’t belong there) is fundamentally at odds with the philosophy of in situ preservation and quite often – though definitely not always – quite rightly so; we will address that in our work]. Dialectic influences like state-treasurer Willem Groothuis and salvage operator Rex Cowan may also be mentioned in this context. My seniors and colleagues in civil service in the Netherlands have thoroughly trained and influenced me. And all the members of the various archaeological, project or management teams I have worked in deserve my thorough thanks. Many of the projects were international or volunteer driven, but evidently I owe much to the highly professional teammates with whom I worked for many years. [Peter, Boudewijn, Jef, Andrea, as a proxy for the non-present others, thank you]. I must thank the Faculty of Archaeology at Leiden and its students for teaching me to teach. [Dear colleagues, dear family, dear parents, thank you for having been there; thank you for being here]. Thank you all for being here. I conclude by wishing, confidently wishing that my team-mates in Esbjerg and the students will develop a high standard of debate, in which theories and myths will be challenged and Maritime Archaeology can develop a mature professionalism, without losing itself in endless or senseless academic discussions. I have said.
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Thijs J. Maarleveld studied History and Prehistory at the universities of Leiden and Amsterdam and learned to dive in 1973. After having worked in prehistoric archaeology in the late seventies, he was attached to the cultural policy department of the Netherlands Ministry of Culture. In developing and negotiating cultural policies, his main remit was to develop a consistent approach to the underwater cultural heritage in the national and international arena. As part of this, he developed and co-ordinated under water archaeological research in Dutch waters. He was appointed Head of the newly formed Department for Archaeology Under water (AAO), deputy director of the Netherlands Institute for Ship and underwaterArchaeology (NISA) and Head of the division of Maritime Heritage of the National Service for Archaeological Heritage (ROB), into which these units subsequently integrated. In 1998, he took his doctoral degree at Leiden University. On a part time basis, he taught nautical archaeology at Leiden University since 1994. He is one of the founding members of the International Committee on the Underwater Cultural Heritage (ICUCH) of ICOMOS, the International Council on Monuments and Sites, the non-governmental organisation advising UNESCO on heritage issues. After twenty-five years in heritage management in the Netherlands, he was appointed professor of Maritime Archaeology at the University of Southern Denmark on 1 January 2006. This inaugural address marks the start of the Maritime Archaeology Programme at SDU. The programme is possible through intense collaboration with other institutions, notably all Danish museums with maritime archaeological responsibilities or activities. Joint approaches are discussed in the Danish maritime archaeology network MariNet. Short presentations of research and developments are published in the Maritime Archaeology Newsletter from Denmark, which is a revitalization of the Maritime Archaeology Newsletter from Roskilde Denmark, which was discontinued in 2003, when the Centre for Maritime Archaeology ceased to exist. The newsletter 30
is now produced from Esbjerg under Thijs Maarleveld’s editorship. At Esbjerg, the Maritime Archaeology Programme functions as part of the Centre for Maritime and Regional Studies, CMRS, in which SDU cooperates with the Fisheries and Maritime Museum. Activities of the Centre and the Maritime Archaeology Programme are illustrated via a range of websites: http://www.cmrs.dk/ http://www.archaeology.sdu.dk/ http://www.zeaharbourproject.dk/ Prospective students are also referred to: http://www.sdu.dk/Uddannelse/ Uddannelsesoversigt/Kandidat/ Marinarkaeologi.aspx
The Maritime Archaeology Programme, University of Southern Denmark at the Centre for Maritime and Regional Studies Niels Bohrs Vej 9 • DK-6700 Esbjerg Tel. +45 6550 4177 • Fax +45 6550 1091 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org