P23
The eye of the beholder: historical and ethnohistorical data in the study of past maritime communities

Convenors:
Christian Supiot (Ohio State University)
Location:
Bloco 1, Sala 1.12
Start time:
12 July, 2017 at 14:00
Session slots:
1

Short abstract:

In this panel we hope to further explore the role of historical and ethno-historical data in MCL frameworks, looking particularly at the way historical accounts of foreign travellers in the Asia-Pacific world can be used to develop new ways of thinking about the maritime cultures of the region.

Long abstract:

Since the publication of Westerdahl´s seminal paper on the Maritime Cultural Landscape, maritime archaeologists have been incorporating a wide variety of datasets to understand past maritime communities. According to this theoretical framework, in order to fully understand maritime cultures it is important to explore all kinds of human relationships to the sea or any large bodies of water. Remains such as coastal dwellings, ancient ports, anchorages, boat houses, roads, forts, place names, stories, songs, terminology, and social practice are inextricable parts of the complex network that made up past maritime landscapes. The nature of the data (i.e. environmental, archaeological, historical, iconographic, ethnographic, and linguistic) naturally results in the need to use interdisciplinary or crossdisciplinary approaches that are entrenched in a broad and geographically oriented landscape perspective. The MCL offers a versatile way of understanding past human activities that may be difficult to grasp with material remains alone. In this panel we hope to further explore the role of historical and ethno-historical data in MCL frameworks, looking particularly at the way historical accounts of foreign travellers in the Asia-Pacific world can be used to develop new ways of thinking about the maritime cultures of the region (i.e., nautical technology, navigation, and social practice).