Responsable: Frank Muyard

École française d'Extrême-Orient
Institute of History and Philology
Academia Sinica, Nankang 11529
Tel: +886 2 2652 3177 / 2782 9555 #275
Fax: +886 2 2785 2035

Seminar: Pascal ARNAUD
Speaker: Prof. Pascal ARNAUD (Professor, University of Lyon 2)

Title: The Contribution of Underwater Archaeology to the Knowledge of Maritime History: Current Limits and Possible Developments

Date: Monday, November 20 2017, , 2:30 p.m
Venue: C304, Institute of Anthropology, National Tsing Hua University

Ancient Western Seas do provide us with a good case study in order to evaluate to what extent underwater archaeology has changed our views of maritime history since the works of J. Rougé and L. Casson, who knew almost nothing of underwater archaeology. A lot and not as much as one may imagine… The talk will focus on the silences of evidence, on the selective character of an archaeology of incidents rather than of normality. For that reason, a shipwreck is not self-evident. The main contribution of underwater archaeology has been our knowledge of ship-architecture and of containers. It is more problematic, though essential, for the reconstruction of routes.
Challenges are numerous. Sometimes there is a race against time given the threats on underwater heritage even in deep waters; methods are a matter of concern too. It took ages to consider sediments as archaeological evidence ashore. It is now essential to follow the same evolution on wrecks. Paying more attention to very shallow waters, and investigating submerged built up areas and ports using geo-physic and geo-magnetic survey, coaring sediments, mapping and drawing elevations of buildings, to be dated, open new horizons to under-water archaeology. The number of clear, dated, published data about submerged ports, including accurate plans, is just ridiculous small.
An increasing cooperation is developing between subs and land-archaeologists in order to share expertise about submerged earth and earthed sea, and reconstruct altogether the complexity of maritime cultural landscapes. A maritime archaeology is emerging. It interests are ashore, on the foreshore and under water as well. Subs are not only able to act under water. They also are experts in ship architecture and their exertise is needed ashore. A new generation of maritime archaeologists able to face the specificity of maritime issues ashore as well as underwater is needed.

- Institute of Anthropology, National Tsing Hua University
- EFEO Centre de Taipei

The Conference will be given in English and animated by Prof. TSANG Cheng-hwa

With the support of the French Office in Taipei (BFT)