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Title: An integrated methodology to study site formation processes on submerged shipwrecks in the 21st c.
Author: Ortiz Vázquez, Rodrigo
ISNI:       0000 0004 8501 8911
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2018
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Submerged shipwreck sites are dynamic open systems that require a multiple-approach method to capture their complexity adequately. Conventional methods of recording and monitoring these sites have resulted in mono-dimensional models by focusing primarily on macro- or micro-scale studies. Fortunately, the application of new technologies to record underwater cultural heritage (UCH) has pushed the boundaries of maritime archaeology. Recent advances in remote sensing techniques provide valuable tools for collecting data rapidly with a high degree of accuracy and detail. However, while compelling digital outputs can be generated (Demesticha, Skarlatos, and Neophytou 2014; Drap, Merad, et al. 2015; Nayling and Jones 2014; PAS 2017; Pieraccini, Guidi, and Atzeni 2001; Plets et al. 2009; Yamafune 2016), we have to consider their analytical potential/ability to contribute by exploring their capabilities and limitations. With the above in mind, this thesis addresses the lacuna in the analysis of site formation processes (SFP) on shipwrecks, by presenting an analytical understanding of data collection and presenting an integrated methodology. Demonstrating a flexible approach adapting to a variety of environments on Hazardous 1706, Rooswijk 1740, and Invincible 1758. Bracklesham Bay (Hazardous), the Goodwin Sands (Rooswijk), and The Eastern Solent (Invincible), offers a broad spectrum of highly dynamic environments in shallow water. Rarely do archaeologists get the opportunity to carry out extensive pre-disturbance surveys and excavations, and collect first-hand data periodically, on the same wrecks. Over the years 2016-2018 a number of international projects on Invincible (2013-2018) Rooswijk (2017-2018) and Hazardous (2016-2018) made it possible to develop and carry out this research. This opportunity was highly significant in bridging the gap between management policies, and targeted research of site formation processes enhancing our shipwreck interpretation of these historically significant vessels. Shipwrecks are complex systems composed of material culture regulated by anthropogenic and taphonomic processes. Geo-acoustic methods offer accurate tools (<.2m) for macro-scale taphonomy (e.g. Stirling Castle 1703 (Astley 2016; Bates et al. 2011), or Fougeoux 1805 (Fernández-Montblanc et al. 2016)). However, they overlook the pressing need to attend to the intra-site level analysis concerning the shipwrecks' integral coherence, combined with diver based in situ observations. The high-resolution time-series, acquired by computational optical imaging and acoustic positioning, presented in this thesis, provides that intra-site or micro-level analysis. It is critical to use a multi-scalar approach of time and space, as understanding changes on a shipwreck require moving between synchronic and diachronic analysis. This is possible by integrating previous work on site, as well as presenting the extant shipwrecks' structure and artefact distribution. The use of new technologies allows capturing three-dimensional (3D) structures throughout time (4D), instead of traditional insufficient two-dimensional (2D) recording methods. This opens a new realm of possibilities for capturing quantitative and qualitative data, offering innovative display methods with analytical tools. Efficiency is paramount to record and analyse UCH, considering that in situ preservation is impossible, due its entropic nature: it is a finite resource bound to disintegrate.
Supervisor: Adams, Jonathan ; Sturt, Fraser Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available