A Global Shipwreck: Using the Internet for Research, Public Outreach, and Catching up with the Past

Dublin Core

Title

A Global Shipwreck: Using the Internet for Research, Public Outreach, and Catching up with the Past

Subject

Session 10:
Technology and Underwater Cultural Heritage

Description

Over the past few decades historians and archaeologists have moved away from examining their topics from nationalist perspectives but instead have looked for regional connections, such as the Atlantic world. This approach seeks to understand the relationships and influences between people in geographically distant locations. Even this regional approach, however, can be limiting as researchers now trace out global connections which occurred early on in human history. A global perspective reminds us that if we look deep enough we will see that the past, no matter where it occurred, relates to everyone. Chinese porcelains excavated in the Great Lakes region of North America from the eighteenth century, for instance, show us that shipwrecks in Asian waters can be relevant to First Nations people on the other side of the globe in Canada. It has always been so; we just didn’t always know it. The Internet, however, can not only help us teach this fact but can help us find those connections.

Online tools have helped bring underwater cultural heritage into the homes of viewers from around the world. Public outreach websites like the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, for example, attract viewers from over 90 countries. This paper will examine how researchers can not only share their findings with a global audience via the Internet but will also highlight the online tools available to conduct research to tease out those global connections and tap into the collaborative nature of social computing. As we utilize the web to forge new cultural connections around the world, we are reminded that those sailing vessels that crossed the seas transporting their cargos in centuries past were doing the very same thing. The more we utilize the Internet to conduct research and share data about underwater cultural heritage the more we will see that each shipwreck we share with the world is truly a global shipwreck

Creator

T. Kurt Knoerl

Date

November 2011

Files

Citation

T. Kurt Knoerl, “A Global Shipwreck: Using the Internet for Research, Public Outreach, and Catching up with the Past,” The MUA Collection, accessed December 17, 2017, http://www.themua.org/collections/items/show/1189.

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