Underwater archaeology is the systematic study of past human life, behaviors, activities and cultures using the physical (or material) remains (including sites, structures and artifacts) as well as other evidence found in the underwater (or submerged) environment. Such evidence may exist beneath fresh (or inland) waters or beneath salt (or marine) waters. It may be visible on the bed of the water body (i.e. seabed) or buried beneath sediment. Underwater archaeological sites may consist of the remains of ships (shipwrecks), boats (boat finds), other watercraft or vessels and aircraft as well as cultural material that was accidentally dropped, lost overboard or deliberately deposited into the water body. It also includes the remains of structures that were originally built wholly or partly underwater (such as fish traps, crannogs, bridges, piers, jetties and wharves) as well as the remains of human activity that originally took place on dry or marshy land that has subsequently been inundated, either by rising water levels or by marine (or fluvial) erosion.
|Title of host publication||Archaeology|
|Editors||Donald L. Hardesty|
|Place of Publication||Paris, France|
|Number of pages||22|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|
|Name||Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems|