No Visibility, No Artifacts, No Problem? Challenges Associated with Presenting Buried Sites and Inaccessible Shipwrecks to the Public

Chapter
Part of the When the Land Meets the Sea book series (ACUA, volume 5)

Abstract

Archaeologists have made great strides in educating and engaging the public about submerged cultural resources. Common tools for public outreach now include heritage trails, site maps, and interpretive signage to aid in site visitation. Many of these tools, however, were developed and have been applied in areas where scuba diving is an entrenched industry facilitated by good visibility. What happens to sites that are not easily accessible, or are buried and not readily apparent at the seafloor? In federal waters of the northwestern Gulf of Mexico, many archaeological sites, including shipwrecks and prehistoric sites, are buried below the seabed. Where shipwrecks are above the seafloor many are located in low- to zero-visibility areas, and/or contain dangerous entanglement hazards. Archaeologists and resource managers working in this area, and similar environments, must overcome many challenges in order to present these submerged cultural resources to the general public. Alternate methods for public outreach, such as websites and geophysical interpretation, exist but carry their own unique challenges.

Keywords

Clay Shipping Drilling Beach Hull 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Peggy Leshikar-Denton, Della Scott-Ireton, and Nancy Hawkins provided references and input into the criteria used to determine appropriate sites for public visitation. Any errors remain the responsibility of the author.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tesla Offshore, LLCPrairievilleUSA

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