Cross-disciplinary Conferencing 11/01/14
The Society of Historical Archaeology (SHA) holds an annual conference for the sharing of research spanning across both terrestrial and underwater archaeological themes. This year the conference was held in the city of Quebéc from the 8th – 12th January. The call for papers closed back in July 2013 and I was delighted to find my paper on ‘The taphonomy of historic shipwreck sites: implications for heritage management’ had been accepted within the session entitled ‘Conservation for underwater archaeology’. Whilst I was not trained as an archaeologist the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute (SMMI) has been hugely supportive of my cross-disciplinary studies, enabling me to attend this conference so far afield in both terms of its discipline and location. I received even more great news more recently when I was awarded the ACUA George Fischer student travel prize. The award has not only been hugely beneficial in supporting me financially but also, as a somewhat unanticipated side-effect, greatly boosted the number of attendees to my presentation.
Due to the foul weather that plagued North America many of the attendees and presenters struggled to reach Quebéc in time. As a result the conference set up a catch-up session to be split into terrestrial and underwater archaeology. This split highlights the shifting emphasis of the archaeological community towards viewing underwater archaeology as a field in its own right, rather than a tool to assist terrestrial studies.
The program of abstracts for the conference can be found at: http://www.sha2014.com/program.pdf