Cover image for Encyclopedia of underwater and maritime archaeology
Encyclopedia of underwater and maritime archaeology
Delgado, James P.
Publication Information:
New Haven : Yale University Press, 1998.

Physical Description:
493 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 29 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
CC77.U5 E53 1997 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize
CC77.U5 E53 1997 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ

On Order



The Encyclopedia of Underwater and Maritime Archaeology is the first comprehensive reference book on the discovery and recovery of the submerged past. Written by archaeologists and other scientists who have made the discoveries, the encyclopedia's entries describe sites around the world and across time: prehistoric American Indian settlements; submerged Bronze and Iron Age settlements; sunken Phoenician, Greek, and Roman cities and harbors; Viking ship burials; ancient warships and merchant craft in the Mediterranean; warships sunk during atomic bomb tests; and much more. Detailed entries also cover new fields of research in underwater and maritime archaeology, the techniques and tools used by underwater archaeologists, critical issues and the relevant legislation that has been passed, and important institutions and individuals. Overview articles examine work in broader regional, national, and scientific contexts.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

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. (Reviewed April 1, 1998)

Choice Review

Encyclopedias are difficult to evaluate because they require a wide range of knowledge on the part of the reviewer. Well written and illustrated, this major reference source covers the entire field of maritime archaeology in more than 500 entries. The scope is not restricted to shipwrecks--conservation, sunken towns, agencies, and maritime equipment and procedures are also covered in detail. Few entries treat people, but this is not surprising since the field is so new and many professionals were themselves contributors. Gaps in the record are acknowledged, and additional data is solicited from knowledgeable readers. There is no entry for theory but many topics embrace theory. Problems with treasure hunting and its interference with data recovery are considered, as are various countries' attempts to regulate maritime sites. Although the work originated in North America, its contributors span the globe (but some areas, e.g., Asia and Africa, are underrepresented). As a first effort, this major undertaking is a fine start; updates are planned. Its utility reaches far beyond the immediate field, since it serves both professional and general readers. L. E. Babits; East Carolina University