Introduction: Contextualizing Maritime Archaeology in Australasia

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In the 50 years since the seminal shipwreck excavations of Australia’s early European shipwrecks Trial (1622), Batavia (1629), Vergulde Draak (1656), and HMS Pandora (1791), maritime archaeologists have constantly been refining their approaches and research directions to investigating the Australian connection to the sea. Last year, their professional organization, the Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology (AIMA), celebrated its 40-year anniversary, while the Flinders University Maritime Archaeology Program celebrated 20 years since its establishment by Mark Staniforth in 2002. Flinders is still the only university in the southern hemisphere to offer a named maritime archaeology degree, and the university has the highest ranked archaeology program worldwide with a dedicated maritime postgraduate course (according to Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings for 2021). This year marks the 40th anniversary of the commonwealth government’s Australian Underwater Cultural Heritage Program (1983–2023). All these milestones mark the maturing of maritime archaeology as a subdiscipline of archaeology in Australasia, and nearly all the authors in this collection can claim affiliation with AIMA or Flinders University, or in many cases both.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-13
Number of pages3
JournalHistorical Archaeology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • Maritime Archaeology
  • Shipwrecks
  • Batavia
  • Buffalo
  • HMAS Perth
  • Submarine
  • Colonial shipbuilding
  • Culture contact
  • Seafaring
  • WWII
  • South Australian
  • Macassan
  • Rock art
  • Seascapes
  • Social Network Analysis (SNA)
  • Muntz' Metal
  • Copper sheathing


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