, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 9-41

Maritime and Shipwreck Archaeology in the Western Indian Ocean and Southern Red Sea: An Overview of Past and Current Research

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This paper provides an overview of previous archaeological research on shipwrecks and the maritime archaeology of the Western Indian Ocean and southern Red Sea. It highlights the early pioneering research on the Santo António de Tanná, wreck off Mombasa Island, before discussing more recent discoveries, surveys and excavations. Attention is drawn to the important distinction between ‘shipwreck’ and ‘maritime’ archaeology, and the need to develop integrated programmes aimed at investigating the diversity of the maritime heritage of these two regions. Particular attention is also drawn to the increased activity of treasure hunters and other threats to the underwater heritage of these regions, the need to sustain ongoing training and capacity building in maritime archaeology and for strengthening existing legislation.