Vessel Reuse and Abandonment in Post-Military Contexts: Examples from the Colonial and Early National Navies of Australia and New Zealand

James Hunter

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    3 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Between 1863 and 1891, the colonial governments of Australia and New Zealand purchased a variety ofiron-hulled warshipsas a means of augmenting the defense of their coastal waters, harbors, and inland waterways. By the beginning of the twentieth century, these once formidable warships were largely obsolete, and while those in New Zealand were either lost or disposed of, their Australian counterparts were retained for service in the Commonwealth Naval Forces and Royal Australian Navy until after the First World War. Ultimately, however, these vessels too were also sold out of service. Many were subsequently used in a variety of secondary civilian roles before they were discarded, while others were ignominiously disposed of and forgotten. Archaeological investigation of a handful of these warship abandonment sites has revealed discard signatures that differ from those generally associated with contemporary commercial watercraft. This chapter will highlight these sites and explore tentative explanations for their unique discard attributes through the filter of archaeological site formation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Archaeology of Watercraft Abandonment: Ship Graveyards and Forgotten Fleets
    PublisherSpringer
    Pages297-321
    Number of pages25
    ISBN (Electronic)9781461473428
    ISBN (Print)9781461473411
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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