Waterways have been key factors in the development of societies from prehistoric times, particularly due to their role as vectors for cultural interactions, material exchange, and transmission of knowledge. The fluidity of these highways of transport and communications is tightly linked to the presence of transit points: spaces with unique geographical characteristics that acted as nodal points between different communities. Transit points are thus defined as places of intense social contacts, putting objects of physical geography into the domain of social sciences and humanities. The subject is challenging, as activities that happen in aquatic spaces seldom leave substantial archaeological traces behind. Nevertheless, by focusing on the intersection between humans and their environment down by the water, this book demonstrates what can be achieved by changing the research paradigm to one that fully embraces the nuances of the aquatic world, and especially the intricate connection between society and waterscapes.
Veronica Walker Vadillo is a maritime archaeologist specializing in Southeast Asia. She holds an MA in Maritime Archaeology (UCL) and a PhD from the University of Oxford. She has held the prestigious Core Fellowship of the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced studies. Her work focuses on riverine cultural landscapes.
Emilia Mataix Ferrándiz is a legal historian and classical archaeologist. She holds two PhDs, one in Roman law by the universities of Palermo and Alicante, and a second in archaeology from Southampton and Lyon 2. She is a Maria Zambrano Fellow at University of the Basque Country.
Elisabeth Holmqvist holds a PhD (UCL), MA and BA (University of Helsinki) in archaeology. She has been an Academy of Finland postdoctoral Fellow and a Core Fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. Her research focuses on ancient craft technologies and mobility of goods and people.
Contributors: Celia Chaín-Navarro, Patrik G. Flammer, Ekaterina Gruzdeva, Kasper Hanus, John S. Henderson, Alberto Hoces-García, Elisabeth Holmqvist, Kathryn M. Hudson, Sara Keller, Daniel S. Margolies, Emilia Mataix Ferrándiz, Chiara Maria Mauro, Himanshu Prabha Ray, Corinna Salomon, Juan José Sánchez-Baena, Adrian Smith, Veronica Walker Vadillo, Monica Ann Walker Vadillo
'[This book is a] is step forward in maritime archaeology, in that the chapters deal with intangible aspects of maritime life through tangible remains. [It] makes an important argument about how maritime archaeology can advance and study new aspects of past maritime cultures.’ Professor Ben Ford, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
‘The concept of maritime cultural landscapes has been around since 1992, but the conceptualization of “down by the water” pushes this framework into a new direction - sorely needed after 30 years. The present volume may be a watershed (keeping with the maritime themes in the book) in reconceptualizing this framework for a new generation of scholars.’ Dr Peter Campbell, Cranfield University