INTRODUCTION TO SPECIAL ISSUE: PAPERS FROM THE SESSION ON MARITIME ARCHAEOLOGY AT THE INDO-PACIFIC PREHISTORIC ASSOCIATION 2014 CONFERENCE
Compared to other fields of study, maritime archaeology is relatively new to a world of archaeological studies that have up to now mostly focused on land resources. Often, waterways are perceived by archaeologists as barriers between communities, and the seas are seen as delimiting nation’s boundaries; their use by ancient communities is often oversimplified in archaeological theories. In other cases where the role of water bodies is mentioned, fundamental factors such as trade winds, currents, nautical technology and seafaring capacities are not examined thoroughly. For the maritime archaeologists, these are at the core of their approach. Shipwrecks are not the sole focus of the maritime archaeologists, whose aim is to apprehend maritime material culture from a maritime perspective.