Shipping Mishaps and the Maritime Cultural Landscape
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Chapter 2 presents the theoretical structure and methods for the investigation of the Queenscliffe community’s responses to shipwreck past and present. The concept of the maritime cultural landscape is explored in detail to establish its potential as a unifying framework in maritime archaeological investigation. While setting out the physical and cognitive nature of maritime cultural landscapes, this section also identifies some common misconceptions and misuses which have emerged in maritime archaeology. Two major models for understanding the behaviours which might structure community and individual reactions to shipping mishaps are then described. The first of these is the psychological framework for response to crisis, which breaks the progression of any disaster event into a series of stages, preceding, during and after the physical impact. The second is the role of risk perception, risk taking, avoidance, and mitigation by mariners and coastal communities. The behavioural and physical/archaeological correlates of these models are examined with reference to the factors which influence salvage and abandonment processes. The final part of the chapter considers some of the methodological components of investigating a maritime cultural landscape, including documentary and ethnographic analyses, oral history and folklore, toponymy, the use of archaeological data, and the potential role of geographical information systems (GISs) as an integrating and analytical tool.