Abstract book & Sessions

The Photo archives of Governing Body of Suomenlinna/Super_otus


IKUWA 7: Delivering the Deep, Visions for the Future




1. Underwater parks and Blue Growth


Since the development and subsequent spread of hobby diving in the late 1950s, divers have been interested in shipwrecks. Today, there is also a growing interest in Blue Growth and sustainable tourism combined with cultural heritage. This session aims to discuss ways to present underwater cultural heritage for diving tourists and for non-divers in a way that promotes awareness, interest, and knowledge, as well as protection of underwater cultural heritage. The creation of underwater parks with mooring buoys and guided dive trails is one successful way in this respect. Since the year 2000, several underwater shipwreck parks have been found in Finland and regular monitoring both by avocational and heritage officials indicates that this has been a good way to protect and manage the sites. Nevertheless, combining cultural heritage and tourism is not always straightforward, and issues of management, monitoring, and maintaining the site keep reoccurring. This session invites contributions from researchers working on underwater parks, dive trails and Blue Growth with the hope that improvements can be made by sharing experiences.

2. Shipwrecks and historical archaeology


The study of shipwrecks is commonly associated with sub-disciplines such as maritime, nautical or underwater archaeology. This more or less automatically implies a characteristic set of questions and discussions, surveying and recording techniques, diving as well as topics associated with maritime cultural heritage management are common and more or less self-evident within the field.  However, as a large number of the shipwrecks derive from periods where massive written accounts exist, the archaeology of shipwrecks could just as well be regarded as a historical archaeology or modern archaeology. With this in mind, it is a bit surprising just how infrequent theoretical and methodological discussions associated with the relationship between artefacts, texts and images are to be found in shipwreck research. This session sets out to problematize and highlight the specific potential of studying shipwrecks as material culture, alongside – or perhaps in contrast with – other categories of source materials, such as texts, images, and oral traditions. We welcome papers that discuss the shipwrecks inspired by other archaeological sub-disciplines as well as other disciplines within the humanities in the hope of figuring out how can historical shipwreck archaeology become more than an expensive way of repeating what historians already know.

3. Recent findings and protection of submerged landscapes


Over the last million years, our lands and seas have been subject to huge environmental changes resulting in vast quantities of archaeological sites and artefacts being preserved in underwater environments around the world. The studies of these submerged landscapes are not new, however, the challenging environments constantly generate questions and discussions on how best to proceed in the protection and study of these deposits using the latest technological advances and developments within underwater archaeology. This session invites speakers to discuss how recent national and international protection policies, such as the Valetta Convention, EU EIA directives, the EU Position Paper: Land Beneath the Waves, plus the USA National Historic Preservation Act, amongst others, have influenced and impacted the work undertaken to date on submerged sites. Consideration should be given to how recent policy developments have affected and shaped current and future research; how different nation states have absorbed international policies into their curatorial guidance and built on these to adapt and develop bespoke protocols and protection policies. This session aims to present recent approaches, academic studies, management issues, dissemination, and data sharing derived from archaeological projects focused on studies of inundated landscapes.

4. From underwater 3D models to virtual reality as a research tool for maritime archaeology


Over decades, virtual reality (VR) technologies have been employed in archaeology for reconstruction of archaeological sites and finds. Coupled with the increasing amount of high-quality fieldwork documentation using 3D technologies, the design of VR applications for cultural heritage is entering the sphere where a growing number of past and present archaeological environments can be reached through immersive visualization, often together with an interactive experience. We can already walk on-board famous shipwrecks reconstructed to their original glory, or dive on ships lying deep on the seabed for hours if so desired. Underwater heritage sites are increasingly made available for public and professionals alike with benefits shifting from one-directional dissemination to multi-proxy access and action. Furthermore, through VR teaching systems taken into use, archaeological knowledge and field archaeological excavation practice can be explained without being restricted by time and space. Soon, this will be radically changing and enriching teaching methods, especially concerning underwater works. Unlike pictures or 3D models that we can study on screen, VR gives a three-dimensional feeling with an intuitive experience of the site and situation. In this session, we welcome a wide variety of contributions discussing and exemplifying application of VR – but also augmented reality – to underwater cultural heritage. We would especially like to encourage discussions taking VR beyond being solely a tool for public engagement into the realm of research allowing new questions to be asked and new avenues explored.

5. The archaeology of island and coastal identities


Is there a particular way of thinking and feeling within the societies on the islands that is notably different from mainland? If so, is it individual or shared between islands on a regional or global scale? Do coastal communities have a particular type of consciousness separate from inland? If yes, what does it constitute of and how is it expressed in action? With a sea as an important element, is maritimity reflected on the costal and island mentalities and ideology? Most importantly, however, is there a material form for these aspects making it possible to reach an understanding regarding identities of past insular and coastal societies through archaeology? Acknowledging the maritime self-concept of insular and coastal societies, relationship with the sea transcending over every day routine and including ideological and symbolic articulations, this session aims to gather contributions on costal and island narratives and heritage. On the abrupt, and pervasive, but also changing identities of these maritime communities. We welcome empirically and theoretically ambitious contributions aiming to understand the nature and extent of island and coastal identities as well as their impact.

6. Lessons from the history of maritime archaeology


This session invites papers sharing the analytical experiences of forming the narratives of the history of maritime archaeology. Maritime archaeology as a discipline is now well established in numerous countries and the moment is ripe to gather the memories and experiences of the pioneering generations. The aim of this session is to share the experiences of writing the stories of the research history at national level. How did maritime archaeological research start? What was the role of archaeology? Who were the key persons? What were the methods used and objects targeted? The vision for this session is to learn from different experiences, perhaps, see common trends, and gain an understanding of the global development of the maritime archaeology. This session aims to gather ideas on how to start collecting the history of maritime archaeology, figure out what lessons have been learnt and share these experiences with countries that are now starting their own path toward the establishment of their own maritime archaeology studies. In addition, the purpose is to give examples on the working methods available to us to store and collect memories. This session also invites speakers to share their knowledge and discuss the possibilities of using modern technologies in order to build up from the experiences in the past to aid in the work of maritime archaeologists in the future.

7. Recycling and reuse in the maritime context


This session centres on studies of how recycling and reuse of ships can be identified in the archaeological data, and how the study of such sites can affect the way interpretations about societies are formed. What are the benefits of the archaeological studies of recycling; how do these contribute to a more nuanced picture of the past? One idea is to give a voice to recycled vessels, which are quite often stripped off of their original identities while resting in their last locations. Ships, ship parts and remains of shipwrecks were often reused; part of the stripped ships could be destined to other ships’ rigging, hull or both of them, and sometimes the ship parts were entirely taken out of their maritime context, for example, to be used in buildings or transformed into furniture. Studies of recycled and reused vessels, and their equipment, can broaden our view of material use and object biographies. This perspective has also potential to inform about the relationship people had with their maritime environment. What were the recycling locations, and how were these chosen? We invite scholars to contribute to the session dealing with contemporary societies’ recycling and reuse behaviour in the maritime context.

8. The archaeology of ports and harbours


Ports and harbours are parts of settlements tightly intertwined with the development of maritime trade networks. However, past studies have often analysed them in isolation or in a unidimensional way. This has often lead to oversimplified conclusions where ports are perceived as self-evident inter-connected nodes without further analysis of local nuances nor the complex hierarchy of sites that existed at regional levels. Current scholarship is transcending this approach by expanding the study of ports, seeing them now as part of a larger system of settlements that occupy liminal positions between land and water. The concept of connectivity needs to be applied in order to fully understand the way in which ports function, not only within the maritime transport system, but also in relation to the hinterland that surrounds them. Taking into account these advancements, the time is ripe to further explore the development and roles of ports and harbours within larger landscapes of maritime networks systems in different regions of the world. This session invites researchers to present current projects dealing with this subject without any limitations to regions or time periods. We particularly welcome interdisciplinary projects that include approaches from archaeology, geo-archaeology, history, epigraphy, iconography, ethnography, and environmental sciences.

9. Maritime spatial planning and maritime cultural heritage


In this session, we invite participants to analyse the relationship between Maritime Cultural Heritage (MCH) and Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP). The European Union has invoked a Directive on MSP as “a process by which the Member State’s authorities analyse and organise human activities in marine areas to achieve ecological, economic and social objectives”. The contributions are invited to deal with the organisation of MCH spatial data in marine areas in different countries, with the co-operation between cultural organisations and planners, but also to share experiences on the consideration of MCH and Underwater Cultural Heritage (UCH) in the planning processes. The participants are also invited to discuss maritime archaeological applications in national cultural management registers and the organisation of maritime archaeological data in the respective registers. Maritime archaeological questions related to Blue Growth and land-sea interaction are also relevant for this session as well as the question on public participation in maritime archaeological research and ways of sharing information with the public.

10. Boats and ships as symbols in the past


Boat and ship motifs are represented in different artistic media all across the world and throughout time as symbols of a deeper cultural meaning. From the ship-cloths of the Lampung in Indonesia to the tale of Charon from the Greek mythology, and from the famous solar boats of ancient Egypt to the fishing boat allegory of Christianity, many cultures throughout the world and across time have perceive boats as being symbols imbued with metaphysical meaning, often connected to magic or spiritual journeys. Similarly, their relevance to trade, war, and territorial expansion have also resulted in the construction of a political symbolism connected to ship imagery. An example of which is the Armada Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, where ships in the midst of a storm are used to symbolize the chaos of Catholic Europe while calmer waters for the English fleet shows the queen’s position as a force for good. Regardless of whether they are connected to the spiritual or the political world, it is undeniable that boats and ships have a far-reaching impact on culture, deserving special attention. This session seeks to explore the many ways in which boats and ships were symbolically used by different cultures in the past.

11. Climatic events and their impact in maritime archaeology in the past and in the present


Current debates on climate change have resulted in the production of numerous academic works that place the focus on climatic events in the past and their impact on societies. The nature of maritime archaeology makes it a particularly vulnerable area of research both in the present and in the past. On the one hand, at present, it has been predicted that coastal and underwater archaeological sites will be affected by the expected sea-level change, while stochastic events such as the increased violence of weather conditions are also altering archaeological sites (i.e. shipwrecks uncovered and/or ravaged after unusually powerful storms). On the other hand, in the past, the very nature of maritime communities made them reliant on favourable cyclical weather patterns, and therefore unpredicted changes in the climate made them extremely vulnerable. In this session, we want to contribute to the general debate by presenting a chronological series of papers that evaluate the way in which climatic changes affected past maritime communities, and how the predicted climate change is affecting or will affect our own profession.

12. Riverine Cultural Landscapes: Archaeological perspectives of Inland River and Waterway Systems


Rivers and lakes have been key factors in the development of past societies from prehistoric times to nowadays, particularly due to their role as vectors for cultural interactions, material exchange, and transmission of knowledge. In many instances, rivers acted as highways to the interior, linking vast expanses of prime agricultural land and other natural resources industries with local, regional, and international markets. Regardless of their size, navigable river systems also facilitated social and cultural contact between communities, not only by bringing valuable produce into and out of often remote areas, but also by acting as a conduit to link disparate communities. Thus, material exchange was accompanied by dynamic exchanges and flow of ideas that contributed to the dispersal of knowledge traditions through river basins. The fluidity of communications means that river systems often conform cultural landscapes that often transcended State and International borders. An interdisciplinary perspective with a focus on human-environment interactions, such as Westerdahl’s Maritime Cultural Landscape, is often necessary to set forth more nuanced interpretations on how these river networks developed. This session welcomes papers that investigate the archaeology, history and traditions of social and industrial cultural landscapes of coastal and inland rivers, lakes and estuaries, and their effects on shaping the unique communities that populate and use them.

13. Aspects of the maritime cultural landscape


Under the term maritime cultural landscape, Christer Westerdahl has established a short “checklist” for the aspects of (predominantly) maritime culture that is more or less globally applicable. The “checklist” includes the economic landscape, with its origin in maritime cultures originally concentrating on local fishing and other maritime resources, within which adapted ships first were built and used. The landscapes of transport and communication, including sailing routes, even their cross-country portages, landing-sites, harbours and their seamarks and pilotage. In addition, the landscapes of social power and their territorial claims, aggression and defence, as well as the outer and inner resource landscapes, referring to shipbuilding at suitable local spots, and to a vital regional surplus for trading and transportation. No separate corner in the “checklist” can be determined for the cognitive landscape as it permeates all the others, emphasizing and delineating mental maps of tradition and place names, ritual and symbolic aspects. In most parts of the globe, these maritime aspects can never be understood without their terrestrial components – this is the most decisive factor within the study of maritime cultural landscapes. This session invites contributions concentrating on the study of one or the variety of the aspects of the maritime cultural landscape.

14. The archaeological heritage of wetland landscapes – data, methods, and future prospects


Wetland sites with well-preserved organic materials have enormous scientific and interpretative potential for understanding the past. These sites further our knowledge about the material culture and technological level of ancient societies, but also about past environmental circumstances, climate, and resource availability. Wetland sites provide a unique insight into past lives, the development of cultures, and human environment co-evolution. However, in many areas this valuable archaeological resource is under threat due to intensified land-use and climate change; drainage and acidification, specifically, are resulting in rapid peat degradation and the deterioration of vulnerable organic remains. This session aims to further our knowledge about the many forms of wetland sites and the multidisciplinary research that can be conducted there. Furthermore, it aims to evaluate the most critical factors affecting the preservation of this irreplaceable cultural resource under modern encroachment. Through presentations and discussion, the session will hopefully stimulate growing interest towards the specialization in wetland archaeology and steer emphasis on new areas of research and collaboration.

15. Modern Shipwrecks


Modern vessels and their use illustrate innovations related to socio-economic changes in the 19th and 20th centuries, like industrialization and capitalism. The study of these wrecks incorporate a series of factors that not always affect sites from earlier times. For example, many modern shipwrecks are the result of wartime incidents, the failures of technical solutions, or maritime accidents, like HMS Titanic. These tragic events led to loss of human lives, creating graves for individuals whose relatives may still be alive to share memories of their family histories. Furthermore, some of these wrecks can contain ammunitions or metals that are still worth selling and reusing, and, in addition, some pose a threat to the environment due to hazardous waste like fuels. Hence, the study and protection of modern shipwrecks are often loaded with ethical debates that often pitches academic study with other issues such as the protection of the environment, or the respectful treatment of human remains, as well as other economic aspects such as salvage operations. Not all modern shipwrecks are possible or sensible to protect, however, every one of these sites has a story, a story we can learn from in order to understand our past better or to improve marine safety. In this session, we invite participants to discuss case studies related to modern shipwrecks, and also issues concerning the protection and management of these sites.

16. Remarkable resource, citizen science and maritime archaeology


From the pioneering origins of the discipline of maritime archaeology, the wider public have always played an important role in both research and practice. Before academic institutions began teaching the subject, people all over the world were undertaking research, surveys and archaeological excavations underwater and within the coastal zone. Since the 1990’s, this avocational input and accompanying professional collaboration in research, has been termed “Citizen Science” and there are now many different examples of the use of Citizen Science within maritime archaeology.  Most commonly, the use of the wider public involves asking people to crowd source monitoring data about sites or empowering the public to contribute their time to undertake historical research on a topic. This session will showcase some of these Citizen Science initiatives and discuss modern best practices that maximise both the quality of data procured and the quantity of people participating.

17. Deep-sea discoveries and technology


Recent advances in technology have enabled maritime archaeologists to undertake projects in depths that have long been unreachable. Today, remotely operated vehicles (ROV) carry cameras equipped for high resolution 3D photogrammetry, and video and laser scanners are widely employed. ROVs also include a variety of geophysical instrumentation enabling exploration and documentation of sites resting deep on the bottom of the oceans. Modern technology has already brought some spectacular finds to the reach of archaeologists and increased the greater public interest in underwater discoveries. Companies and institutions that work with deep sea exploration have joined academic researchers and successful partnerships have been formed. We welcome papers dealing with interdisciplinary projects that include approaches where advanced technology and maritime archaeological research is combined.

18. War on board – the archaeology of warships and maritime battlefields


The study of sunken warships has been an important subject within the field of maritime archaeology since the very early years of the discipline. It is also a theme that often fascinates people and easily gets a lot of publicity in the media. With the help of modern documentation technology, today it is easier to study these sites both as single-site studies and as parts of a larger context as “sunken battlefields”. Archeological studies of warships and battlefields can give us new insights into naval warfare and detailed knowledge of the events during different battles. This can often contribute to, and sometimes change, the information we have from written sources. The archeological perspective also has a possibility to show details and the conditions on board during a naval battle. It can show us the "face of the battle" and take us closer to the experience of the people on board. Warships is also an example of past societies’ pursuit of power, control and economic benefits. They have further as active material culture played a role in various historical processes and societal changes during different times. This session invites contributions dealing with investigations and interpretations of warships and sunken battlefields dating before the 20th century. We also hope to reflect upon the role of navies and warships in relation to the societies that created and used them.

19. Conservation of archaeological finds from marine environments


This session focusses on the issues of preservation and display of archaeological finds from marine environments. Although main emphasis is on whole shipwrecks and other large structures, contributions dealing with smaller finds, be it organic, inorganic or composite material, are welcomed as well. New approaches to conservation treatments are of great interest, as are reviews and long-term evaluations of PEG-treatments and other established stabilization methods used on shipwreck materials. Papers covering recent developments in advanced conservation methods, such as vacuum freeze-drying and supercritical treatment, as well as in low-tech and simple solutions are of great interest. In the same vein, papers dealing with preventive conservation methods are welcomed. In this session, we would also like to discuss documentation, research and monitoring maritime archaeological finds in-situ, during conservation and in exhibition/storage. This is an area of fast technological progress and a subject where conservators benefit greatly from collaboration with related fields and allied professionals. This session is also for discussions on community involvement, values and significance analysis, financial issues and other issues relevant to museum-display of such materials. Contributions addressing these topics are most welcome and we encourage original submissions relevant to the analysis, treatment, study and care of wet archaeological materials.

20. Maritime aviation and the underwater archaeological heritage of flying


Since the dawn of flying, operators in aviation have shared a lot of common interests with maritime operations and maritime landscapes. Numerous aircraft factories were established near the waterways and by the waterfront, and early commercial transport by planes emerged as well by the waterfront, using float planes and flying boats both by the sea and in inland waters. Aircraft has also been used in the arms race as a strategic weapon against navies: naval forces have used aircraft to seek, follow and destroy enemy fleets and merchant vessels, and today aircraft carriers are key elements in the world’s most powerful fleets. Considering that most of the planet is covered in water, it is unsurprising that a large percentage of aircraft crash sites are to be found under water. While most crash sites on land are in reachable areas where salvage operations by officials or scavenging actions by looters take place shortly after the event, the underwater remains of planes may be the only untampered source available to catch a glimpse of some rarer aircraft types. Recent discoveries of very intact aircrafts from the deep have revealed that in some cases the aircraft has survived the impact remarkably, and site formation processes have not always destroyed details like paint layers and organic material of these flying machines.

But are underwater aircraft wrecks only fortuitously-saved material to be used solely for recovery and reconstruction (albeit at a very high cost)? And is the location of crash sites at sea aimed only at finding out the last resting place of the lost aviators? With the opening of the deep to exploration thanks to evolving developments in technology, we need to wonder whether there is any intrinsic value in underwater aircraft remains that can be used for archaeological research and we need to ask whether their study can contribute to historical narratives written using archival material. In this session we welcome papers that discuss research of underwater aircraft remains in areas of maritime aviation operations like aircraft harbors of early commercial airliners, areas of naval operations affected by air strikes, and in water areas next to the air fields, which may have served as emergency landing sites. We especially welcome papers that bring forth the value of these type of sites and present novel ways of integrating them into broader studies of maritime landscapes.

21. B Gribshunden: archaeological science

The 1495 wreck of the Danish-Norwegian royal flagship, Gribshunden, is the subject of a long-term scientific research and museology partnership of Blekinge Museum, Lund University, and Ronneby municipality. The historical context of this “floating castle” is unique, as the king was sailing to a political summit in Sweden when it sank. Recent excavations have provided a series of unprecedented finds, and investigations of them using advanced analytical methods are delivering new knowledge about the ship, the people aboard, and the late medieval world. For this session, we invite papers relating to interdisciplinary studies of this vessel and its artifacts, with a preference for results generated from physical sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. Presentations reporting results derived from advanced data imaging techniques and laboratory analysis of artifacts will be prioritized, along with holistic discussions of the site’s history and plans for its future.

22. Maritime trade and the stream of goods


Maritime trade is a puzzle where many components have to be taken into consideration, such as the size of the vessels involved in the trade, the location and conditions of ports, waterways, nodes of distribution, as well as people who perform very different roles. But perhaps most importantly, studies on maritime trade have the merchandise at the core of the network. From agricultural and manufactured everyday products to luxury items and artefacts that served people’s needs, these goods were the pulse that kept maritime interactions alive. The wrecks of cargo vessels are the primarily source-material to understand the stream of goods that were moved to different markets by sea. The variety of data challenges us to carefully choose our research and analysis methods. The archaeological analysis of the contents of a shipwreck cargo hold contributes to better understand our past, as it provides material that support written sources or, in some instances, that are not readily available to the historian. In this session, we welcome participants to share case-studies that analyse cargo from different perspectives, including discussion on the challenges faced while researching these materials. The session is not limited chronologically nor geographically but aims towards exploring recent developments in the research of maritime trade and the stream of goods. 

23. Curating the submerged past for today’s audiences


Do traditional exhibitions still have a place amidst advances in new technologies? Are we doing enough to engage new and different audiences to learn about humankind’s submerged past through museum exhibitions and advancement of new technologies? The opportunities for museums to develop exhibitions that tell the stories of people associated with the sea through objects, artworks, exhibitions, virtual experience, interactive engagements, augmented reality, immersive experience, and 3D reconstructions is significant when considering the advent of technology in offering new and innovative ways to engage audiences. But, are we using technology without properly telling the stories about the people behind these physical and virtual representations? Has the technology become an end in itself? Are we actively using these new and innovative ways to present the nautical world to museum audiences, social media and online users, and educational groups? Papers are invited for this session that: 1) Exhibit new findings and reconstructions for the public, including via social media platforms, websites, films, traditional museum exhibitions, etc. 2) Discusses new concepts and opportunities for public displays and interpretation for greater audience engagement and in-gallery activation. 3) Use and explore a combination of traditional exhibition design with new technologies for a diverse museum experience.

24. Living on water: lake dwelling research in the 21st century


Living over water was a common settlement practice throughout the world over thousands of years yet it is an aspect of human behaviour we still know remarkably little about. Since the discovery in 1853 of lake dwellings in Lake Neuchatel, Switzerland, much has been written about the high levels of organic preservation encountered on lake dwellings but as a site form they remain somewhat removed from mainstream (terrestrial based) interpretations of prehistoric and early historic lifeways. This session will evaluate the current state of research on lake dwellings and lake-side settlements in an attempt to redress this. Lake settlements can, and have, taken many different forms: in some areas lake dwellings are sites which were deliberately built out in the water using organic materials to form artificial islands or platforms; in others they take the form of lakeside dwellings that have later become submerged and, as a result, feature little in the way of undisturbed in-situ organic occupation layers. The session aims to examine the diversity of these forms (in terms of dating, taphonomy and use) and then move the discussion forward to examine what the study of lake dwellings can bring to the interpretation of the inhabitation of landscapes more widely. Why were human groups living on water? What were the social, cultural and symbolic motivations to construct lake dwellings? Why were sites so often re-used and re-occupied after lengthy period of abandonment?  Rather than concentrating on the exceptional preservation of organic remains it is hoped that speakers will stress the contribution lake dwelling studies can, or should, make to broader perceptions and interpretations of the past.

25. Shipping routes in Latin America and the Caribbean: rupture and continuity


Shipping routes, in other words planned routes taken by a boat from a point of origin to a point of destination, are tangible evidence of the mobility dynamics that animate a territory in time and space. Their paths are shaped by geographical, political, economic or religious parameters and constraints. In Latin America and the Caribbean, their structural organization responds to a characteristic ideological conception of the cultural landscape. Thus, the interface between the aquatic and terrestrial environments has taken on very different forms depending on place and time. The objectives of this session are therefore to study the diversity of shipping routes in this region by focusing on the concepts of rupture and continuity created, adopted or reused gradually by pre-Hispanic, modern and contemporary populations. It will also be a question of discussing the analysis of material and immaterial culture inseparable from the study of maritime, lacustrine and fluvial practices over time. Finally we proposed to debate important issues such as the ability of the waterside societies to resist or adapt to an abrupt or progressive event (climate change, conquests, etc.), and will reassess the historical trajectory of the water-related practices in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Call for papers has been ended 16.3.2022