The Oxford Handbook of Maritime Archaeology is a comprehensive survey of the field as seen through the eyes of nearly fifty scholars at a time when maritime archaeology has established itself as a mature branch of archaeology. This volume draws on many of the distinct and universal aspects of maritime archaeology, bringing them together under four main themes: the research process, ships and shipwrecks, maritime and nautical culture, and issues of preservation and management. The first section of the book deals with the best practices for locating, documenting, excavating, and analyzing submerged sites. This methodological foundation is followed by a sample of shipwreck studies from around the world as scholars trace the regional development of ships and seafaring. Chosen to balance the traditional core regions of maritime archaeology with important but lesser-studied areas, it aims at offering an international account of the study of submerged sites. Reflecting the growing number of scholars who study past maritime cultures, but not shipwrecks, the third section of the book addresses various aspects of the maritime landscape and ethnography above and below the water.
The final chapters then approach maritime archaeology in a broader context, moving beyond archaeological sites to discuss the archaeological record in general within legal, preservation, and management frameworks. Taken together, these individual and original articles provide a valuable resource that summarizes the current state of the field of maritime archaeology and offers insight into the future of this established and growing discipline.