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Title: Managing archaeology underwater
Author: Firth, Antony Julian
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 1996
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This thesis is addressed to the relationship between state-managed archaeology and control of the past, with particular attention to the rigid association of administration and identity, i.e. nationalism, as manifest in the nation-state. A critical approach is feasible because the management of archaeology underwater is implicated in the reproduction of two fundamental aspects of the nation-state - territoriality and nationality - by virtue of the frequent location of ancient material underwater on the fringes of territory, and of the inter-'national' character of ancient material of maritime origin. Empirical material is drawn from a comparative analysis of managing archaeology underwater in France, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, the UK and Ireland and from a historical analysis of the development of management in the UK from the mid 1960s to the mid 1970s. The theoretical basis is drawn from Anthony Giddens' work on modernity, structuration and locale. Archaeology is shown to be an aspect of modernity that facilitates individuals' trust in the nation-state by presenting a 'reasonable' collective narrative that reconciles individual and abstract at an imaginable scale. The narrative takes effect, in part, through its physical manifestation in everyday environments and through people's behaviour towards ancient material. Archaeologists and public dwell in preconceptions about the past through their practical experience of ancient material. These preconceptions can affect the introduction of management provisions, so that they become thoroughly structured within implementation, even if the provisions themselves appear 'neutral'. Furthermore, I show that the institutionalisation of preconceptions within management can constrain archaeological research, thus inhibiting the emergence of fresh interpretations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Protection of Wrecks Act 1973